Robert Liston (28 October 1794 – 7 December 1847)
A Scottish surgeon known as “the fastest knife in the West End.” He could amputate a leg in 21⁄2 minutes.
He performed the only operation in history with a 300% mortality rate.(Among other memorable cases, including removing a man’s testicles along with his leg…..oh dear!) Though apart from a few infamous incidents he seems to have been a pretty decent surgeon.
- Liston’s most famous case
- “Amputated the leg in under 21⁄2 minutes (the patient died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene, they usually did in those pre-Listerian days). He amputated in addition the fingers of his young assistant (who died afterwards in the ward from hospital gangrene). He also slashed through the coat tails of a distinguished surgical spectator, who was so terrified that the knife had pierced his vitals he dropped dead from fright.”
- (Source Wikipedia)