Background: Abraham Groves worked as a general practitioner and surgeon in the small town of Fergus, Ontario, Canada. Several priority claims have been attributed to Groves’ life in surgery, including aseptic surgery (1874), appendectomy (1883) and the use of surgical gloves (1885). He was also an early practitioner of urological surgery.
Objective: The purpose of this paper is to describe and objectively assess his contributions as a pioneer in urological surgery.
Methods: A systematic search of contemporary journals was made for articles by or about Groves. These articles and his 1934 autobiography were reviewed. The information was assessed not only for priority, but also for the development of organized surgical principles and thought.
Results: Groves published frequently throughout his career; up to this point, 36 papers have been identified. Groves’ claims are verifiable for aseptic surgery, which were the result of logical surgical thought and was practiced throughout his career. Contemporary publications support his early use of suprapubic lithotomy (1875), prostatotomy (1887), bladder repair (1892), urethral repair (1903), renal decapsulation (1905) and prostatectomy (1911).
Conclusions: Despite his isolation, Abraham Groves independently developed a full range of surgical techniques and principles relevant to modern-day urology. His impact was reduced by the nature of the environment in which he worked and by the limited circulation of the journals in which he chose to publish.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vivianmcalister/118/