Review Article|Articles in Press

Eponyms: A historical pathway to safe thyroidectomy

Published:January 27, 2022DOI:


      • Eponyms provide rich historical context in medical discourse.
      • Thyroid surgery requires excellent understanding of compact and complex anatomy.
      • Eponyms are an efficient way to reference key areas of anatomical importance.



      This historical review aims to discuss not only the surgical significance of eponyms commonly encountered during thyroid operations but also about the people behind them who have lent their names to anatomical structures and surgical landmarks important for completing a safe and effective thyroidectomy.


      Kocher describes anomalous venous anatomy, proper patient positioning and incision placement. Reeve and Joll define anatomical spaces relevant to the dissection of the upper pole of the thyroid that assist with identification and preservation of the nerve of Galli-Curci. The Glands of Owen must also be carefully identified and preserved during thyroidectomy. Identification and protection of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, is guided by anatomical landmarks described by Berry and Zuckerkandl, as well as triangles named after Lore, Beahrs, and Simon.


      The elegant simplicity and efficiency in describing complex surgical anatomy and surgical concepts continue to make utilization of eponyms useful during thyroid operations.


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