UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

'The most startling innovation': Ovarian Surgery in Britain, c.1740-1939

Frampton, SC; (2014) 'The most startling innovation': Ovarian Surgery in Britain, c.1740-1939. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

[thumbnail of FRAMPTON_-__A_STARTLING_INNOVATION_JAN_'14.pdf]
Preview
Text
FRAMPTON_-__A_STARTLING_INNOVATION_JAN_'14.pdf

Download (2MB)

Abstract

Ovarian surgery was a topic of considerable interest to European surgeons during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In the 1830s extirpation of the diseased ovary became the first major abdominal procedure to come into use in Britain and in 1843 the term ‘ovariotomy’ was coined to describe the procedure. Yet the operation’s ‘establishment’ was fraught with anxieties that went to the heart of surgical morality. Alternatively framed as a triumphant episode of surgical progress and a symbol of Victorian surgeons’ attempts to ‘control’ female patients with brutal and unnecessary surgery, this thesis adopts a different approach by considering what ovarian surgery can tell us about innovation. With the procedure at its centre, this thesis traces the intricacies particular to negotiating novelty in operative surgery, and how the use of ovariotomy raised significant questions regarding risk, responsibility, credit, economics and surgical language. What emerges is a history that challenges not only previous historicization of ovarian surgery, but also histories of innovation which imagine novel products as stable entities and the innovation process as one that follows a linear pattern. Ovarian surgery, on the contrary, followed no such pattern. At the heart of the debate – and at the heart of this thesis – is the question of definition. The integration of ovariotomy, I argue, was a complex process because the meaning and definition of the innovation was continually contested as the operation was repeatedly re-shaped technically, philosophically and linguistically.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: 'The most startling innovation': Ovarian Surgery in Britain, c.1740-1939
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1417930
Downloads since deposit
440Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item