Spyridon Magginas (1839-1920) and One of the First Successful Radical Nephrectomies

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Abstract

Spyridon Magginas was among the Greek doctors of the turn of the century who trained abroad with the hope of returning to their native country to offer their services. He became a professor in the “Othonion University” of Athens to promote surgery among young physicians. He was raised in an upper social class family and, reportedly, had an arrogant behaviour, which occasionally led him to have ineffective patient interactions. His patient, and an important Greek writer, Emmanuel Rhoides, nicknamed him the “surgeon beast” for neglecting his case. However, Magginas was an innovative surgeon and in 1902, completed the first successful radical nephrectomy in Greece, and possibly one of the first few globally of the 20th century. A key factor in his success was the prioritisation and application of strict antisepsis.

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