James T. Goodrich, MD, PhD, 1946–2020: a historical perspective and his contributions to craniopagus separation

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  • 1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine;
  • 2 School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine;
  • 3 Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, Los Angeles;
  • 4 Medical Scientist Training Program, University of California, Irvine; and
  • 5 Department of Neurosurgery, UCI Health, School of Medicine, Irvine, California
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Dr. James Tait Goodrich was an internationally renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who pioneered the neurosurgical procedures for the multistage separation of craniopagus twins. As of March 2020, 59 craniopagus separations had been performed in the world, with Goodrich having performed 7 of these operations. He was the single most experienced surgeon in the field on this complex craniofacial disorder. Goodrich was a humble individual who rapidly rose through the ranks of academic neurosurgery, eventually serving as Director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. In this historical vignette, the authors provide context into the history of and sociocultural attitudes toward conjoined twins; the epidemiology and classification of craniopagus twins; the beginnings of surgery in craniopagus twins; Goodrich’s neurosurgical contributions toward advancing treatment for this complex craniofacial anomaly; and vignettes of Goodrich’s unique clinical cases that made mainstream news coverage.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Frank P. K. Hsu: UCI Health, School of Medicine, Orange, CA. fpkhsu@uci.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online June 19, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2020.5.PEDS20371.

B.M.L. and N.J.B. contributed equally to this work.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

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