Sir William Fergusson, Scottish surgeon

Sir William Fergusson, Scottish surgeon

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Credit: GEORGE BERNARD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir William Fergusson (1808-1877), Scottish surgeon. Fergusson abandoned his study of law to become the demonstrator for the anatomist Robert Knox. Having completed his own medical training, Fergusson was eventually appointed Professor of Surgery at King's College, London in 1840. He held this position until his death, during which he was to revive the operation for cleft palate and invent a special mouth-gag to assist during the procedure. Fergusson also devised many other instruments, some of which are still in use today, such as the bone forceps and vaginal speculum. He also introduced conservative surgery that aimed to minimise surgical trauma.

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