The first primary brain-tumor operation

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✓ On November 25, 1884, Mr. Rickman J. Godlee performed the first recognized resection of a primary brain tumor. This operation was carried out at the suggestion of Dr. A. Hughes Bennett, a neurologist at The Hospital for Epilepsy and Paralysis, Regents Park, London, England. Other operations for intracranial tumor had been performed but were for extracerebral meningeal or osseous tumors. The “first” operation for a primary cerebral tumor by Godlee was meticulously described and well documented in the medical and popular press of the day and stimulated both professional and lay discussions of the topic that directly and indirectly led to further surgery on the cerebrum itself and the advent of modern neurosurgery. The original patient of Mr. Godlee died on the 28th postoperative day of apparent meningitis and secondary complications, but postmortem examination revealed no remnant of the excised glioma.

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Address reprint requests to: Douglas B. Kirkpatrick, M.D., Utah Neurological Clinic, 1999 North Columbia Lane, Provo, Utah 84604.
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