Technological Change in Modern Surgery

Technological Change in Modern Surgery

Historical Perspectives on Innovation

Edited by Thomas Schlich, Christopher Crenner


University of Rochester Press



Examining the complex dynamics of medical treatment options and the variable character of surgical technologies, this volume broadens and transcends the notion of technological innovation.
Surgery is an ideal field for examining the processes of technological change in medicine. The contributors to this book go beyond the concept of innovation, with its focus on a single technology and its sharp dichotomy of acceptance versus rejection. Instead they explore the historical contexts of change in surgery, looking at the complex dynamics of the various treatment options available -- old and new, surgical and nonsurgical -- as well as the variable character of the new technologies themselves, thus broadening and transcending the notion of technological innovation.

CONTRIBUTORS: Christopher Crenner, Sally Frampton, Delia Gavrus, Lisa Haushofer, David S. Jones, Beth Linker, Shelley McKellar, Thomas Schlich

Thomas Schlich is the James McGill Professor of the History of Medicine at the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University. Christopher Crenner is the Ralph Major and Robert Hudson Professor and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Chapter 3, "Defining Difference: Competing Forms of Ovarian Surgery in the Nineteenth Century," by Sally Frampton, is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. The chapter may be found here.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781787440050), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


11 black and white illustrations
244 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in Medical History
Hardback, 9781580465946, May 2017
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MED039000, MED085000
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Table of Contents

Technological Change in Surgery: An Introductory Essay
Inimitable Innovation: Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach and the Renewal of Surgery, 1822-1847
Defining Difference: Competing Forms of Ovarian Surgery in the Nineteenth Century
"Making Bad Boys Good": Brain Surgery and the Juvenile Court in Progressive Era America
Prosthetic Imaginaries: Spinal Surgery and Innovation from the Patient's Perspective
Disruptive Potential: The "Landmark" REMATCH Trial, Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Technology, and the Surgical Treatment of Heart Failure in the United States
Placebos and the Progress of Surgery
Surgical Practice and the Reconstruction of the Therapeutic Niche: The Case of Myocardial Revascularization
Bibliography of Secondary Sources
List of Contributors


[T]he editors usefully introduce newer historiographical and sociological studies and models that treat innovations as rather more than the light bulb moment. They particularly stress how successful innovations should be studied in the context of their rejected alternatives. Anyone interested in the subject should add it to their bibliography. BULLETIN OF THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE

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