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November 1969

Johannes Kessel and the History of Endaural Surgery

Author Affiliations

Essen, Germany

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(5):652-658. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030654025

THROUGH the profound influence and inspired teaching of Julius Lempert, ear surgeons throughout the world, and particularly in the United States, have adopted the endaural approach for the majority of operative procedures upon the ear. Having had a part in the development of this method, I have been invited by the Editor of the Archives to prepare this historical vignette on the originator of endaural mastoid surgery and the subsequent development of this approach to the temporal bone.

This history begins with one of the greatest otologic surgeons of all time, Johannes Kessel, born in 1839 in Selzen, Hessen (Fig 1). But first, we must mention the oldest endaural operation of all, the paracentesis of the middle ear, first published by Cooper about 1800. Prior to the invention of the ear mirror by Friedrich Hofmann of Burgsteinfurt in 18411 it was not easy to visualize the drum membrane and

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