Emil Theodor Kocher (1841-1917)
The Nobel Prize (1909) was in Physiology or Medicine, and awarded for his work on the physiology, pathology and surgery of the thyroid gland. Kocher was the first surgeon to excise the thyroid gland in the treatment of goitre (1876), and by 1912 he had reduced mortality in the surgery to less than 0.5 percent. As head of the surgical clinic at Bern for 45 years he promoted complete asepsis (developed by Joseph Lister), introduced surgical methods including one to deal with dislocations of the shoulder, for more better anaesthesia, to reduce blood loss in operations, to improve operations on the stomach, the lungs, the tongue, the cranial nerves and for hernia, and devised new surgical techniques, instruments, and appliances; the forceps and incision (in gallbladder surgery) that have his name remain in general use. Unlike many of his colleagues he was deeply religious. The other options are also Nobel Prize-winning surgeons, but in later years.