Professor William Wayne Babcock (1872-1963) and His Innovations in Surgery

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Professor William Wayne Babcock (1872-1963) is considered as a leading figure of American surgery during early 20th century. He introduced many innovative surgical techniques such as Babcock operation for the treatment of varicose veins, the Babcock-Bacon operation for the treatment of cancer of the rectum and sigmoid colon preserving anal sphincters, the “soup bone” cranioplasty technique, and the nerve disassociation technique for the relief of certain forms of paralysis or parasthesia due to injury or inflammation. He invented many surgical instruments such as Babcock forceps, which is widely used in everyday surgical practice, the Babcock probe, and also sump drain and lamp chimney sump drain, which also bear his name. In 1947, he received the Master Surgeon Award from the International College of Physicians and Surgeons and in 1954 the American Medical Association presented him with the Distinguished Service Medal.

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