- Ernst Wertheim
Ernst Wertheim (
February 21, 1864- February 15, 1920) was an Austrian gynecologistwho was born in Graz. In 1888 he received his doctorate from the University of Graz, and subsequently became an assistant in the department of general and experimental pathology. In 1889 he worked under Otto Kahler(1849-1893) at the Second University Clinic in Vienna, and in 1892 became habilitated for gynecologyand obstetrics. In 1897 he became chief surgeon in the gynecological department at "Bettina Pavilions der Elisabeth-Klinik", and in 1910 he became director of the First Women's University Clinic in Vienna. He was the son of chemist Theodor Wertheim (1820-1864), who is remembered for chemical studies of garlic.
In 1898, Wertheim performed the first radical abdominal
hysterectomyfor cervical cancer. This operation involved removal of the uterus, parametrium, tissues surrounding the upper vagina, and pelvic lymph nodes. Afterwards, "Wertheim's operation" became a fairly common, although risky procedure for cervical cancer. He also did important research of gonorrheain the female genital tract, and was the first physician to demonstrate the presence of gonococcusin the peritoneum. Wertheim also discovered that gonococcus grows best on a culture of agarmixed with human blood-serum.
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