About the Sir Peter Freyer Surgical Symposium

Sir Peter Freyer

K.C.B., M.D., M.Ch., M.A. (Hons. Caus.), L.L.D. (Hons. Caus.)

1851 Born - July 2nd, first son of Samuel Freyer, Salerna, Connemara, Co Galway and his wife Celia Burke
Educated - Erasmus Smith College, Galway (Galway Grammar School) and Queen’s College, Galway
1869 Entered Science section of Faculty of Arts, Queen’s College, Galway
1872 B.A., First Class Honours and Gold Medal, Queen’s College, Galway Headed list of scholars in Science Division of Faculty of Arts, 1869-70, 70-71, 71-72
1873 Senior Scholarship in Chemistry, Faculty of Arts, Queen’s College, Galway.  Resident pupil, Dr. Stephen’s Hospital, Dublin
1874 Graduated Queen’s College, Galway, M.D., M.Ch., with Scholarship, Gold Medal and First Class Honours.  Was awarded Gold Medal in Diploma of Obstetrics examination, and Senior Scholarship in Natural Philosophy, Faculty of Arts
1875 First Place, Indian Medical Service (I.M.S.)
1886 M.A. - Royal University of Ireland (Hons. Caus.)
1887 Surgeon Major, I.M.S.
1894 Delegate from the Indian Government to the International Medical Congress at Rome where he presented a paper “Eight hundred and Fifty-two Operations for Stone in the Bladder”.  In 598 patients the bladder stones were removed by transurethral lithopaxy using the method of Bigelow with an astonishingly low mortality for that time of 1.84%.  This contrasted to a mortality of 12.5% for lithotomy (open operation) popular at that time in British Hospitals
1895 Lieutenant-Colonel, I.M.S.
1896 Retired from the I.M.S. with Honorary rank of Colonel
1897 Elected to the staff of St Peter’s Hospital for Stone, London
1900 Performed first enucleative prostatectomy on John Thomas who lived in the Birdkeeper’s Lodge, in St James’ Park, London
1901 Published first four cases of Prostatectomy, (BMJ 11,125: 1901)
1904 Awarded the Arnott Memorial Medal for Surgical Research by the Irish Medical Schools and Graduates Association
1912 Published first 1,000 cases of Prostatectomy (BMJ 11,869: 1912); he had a mortality of only 3% in his last 200 cases
1914 Re-joined the I.M.S. but worked in England in Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, in the Eastern Command
1917 Commander of the Order of Bath.  Knight’s Commander of the Order of Bath
1919 Retired from the I.M.S.
L.L.D. University College, Galway (Hons. Caus.)
1920 Elected first President in Section of Urology of the Royal Society of Medicine
1921 On 9th September, Sir Peter died at 27 Harley Street, London and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Clifden

Sir Peter married Isabelle McVittie, daughter of Robert McVittie of Dublin.  They had one son - Dermot Johnston and one daughter - Kathleen Mary.  Isabelle died in 1914.  Grandson Michael died in 2002.  Grandson Patrick is living in Ireland.

Published Books:
Litholapaxy, 1885, with enlarged edition in 1886 and 1896.
Stone of the Bladder, 1900.
Stricture of the Urethra and Enlargement of the Prostate, 1901.  3rd Edition 1906.
Surgical Disease of the Urinary Organs, 1908.
Articles on Disease of the Prostate and Vesical Calculus in Burghard’s Operative Surgery, Vol. III, 1907.

Recent Freyer Memorial Lectures

2017 Chancellor Michael Collins (Massachusetts) In Search of the Tossed Cap: Following Medicine’s Privilege

2016 Prof Michael Solomon (Sydney) 20 Years of Evolving Pelvic Exenteration

2015 Dr Philip Schauer (Cleveland) Surgical Therapy for Diabetes – A New Order!

2014 Dr John Birkmeyer (Michigan) Strategies for Improving the Quality of Surgical Care

2013 Dr Leslie K Nathanson (Australia) A Journey towards the Perfect Fundoplication?

2012 Dr John Monson (New York) Role of Centres of Excellence in Rectal Cancer

2011 Professor R.J Heald (Basingstoke) Colorectal Cancer Surgery – Open, Keyhole, Endoscope
or Robot…Where are we Going?

2010 Dr Patrick Boland (New York) ‘Living with Metastatic Bone Cancer’

2009 Dr Patrick Gullane (Toronto) ‘Thirty Years of Head and Neck:  Lessons Learned – Imagine the Future’

2008 Dr Ernest Moore (Denver) ‘Role of the Gut in Post Injury Multiple Organ Failure’

2007 Dr Stephen Lowry (New Jersey) ‘Surgical Critical Illness as a Model of Complex Disease’

2006 Dr Peter Scardino (New York) ‘Surgical Treatment of Prostate Cancer’

2005 Dr Richard Reznick (Toronto) Surgical Training in 35 Hours per Week:  Laudable or Lunacy?’

2004 Dr Steven Wexner (Florida) Current Status of Laparoscopy for Colorectal Disorders

2003 Dr John M Daly (Philadelphia) Speciality Surgeons:  Quality and Outcome

2002 Prof Ara Darzi, (London) Cyber Surgery

2001 Prof Patrick J Kelly (New York) Neuorsurgery:  Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

2000 Dr Patrick Craig Walsh (Baltimore) Radical Prostatectomy in the New Millennium

1999 Sir Prof Alfred Cuschieri (Dundee) Surgical Practice in the New Millennium

1998 Prof Henry A Pitt (Wisconsin)  Benign Biliary Strictures

1997 Dr Gabriel N Hortobagyi (Texas) What is the role for high dose chemotherapy in breast cancer?

1996 D Murray Brennan (New York) Management of Soft Tissue Sarcoma

1995 Prof David Bouchier-Hayes (Dublin) The Education of a Surgeon -No Royal Road

1994 Prof Roger M Greenhalgh (London) The cause and management of aortic aneurysms

1993 Prof Henri Bismuth (Paris) The evolution of liver surgery

1992 Prof John R Farndon (Bristol) RIP 06/02/02 Controversies in parathyroid disease

1991 Prof Geoffrey D Chisholm (Edinburgh) Prospects for medical treatment of prostatic hyperplasia

1990 Prof Roger W Blamey (Nottingham) New management criteria for breast cancer

1989 Prof Norman S Williams (London) In pursuit of normal anorectal function

1988 Prof Bernard Fisher (Pittsburgh) The revolution of breast cancer management in our time

1987 Prof Thomas J Fogarty (California) The evolution of catheters and catheter techniques
in cardiovascular surgery

1986 Prof Mitsuo Sugiura (Japan)  Transthoracic esophageal transection
with paraesophagogastric devascularisation - Sugiura Procedures

1985 Prof Thomas E Starzl (Pittsburgh) Liver transplantation

1984 Dr Peter Froggott (Belfast) The Belfast Medical School in the context of Irish Medicine:
Past and Present

1983 Prof GW Scott (Edmonton) Motility of human gallbladder and cystic duct

1982 Mr Peter S London (Birmingham) Care of the injured hand

1981 Prof Vijay V Kakkar (London) Thrombo embolism

1980 Prof John McGovern (New York) Diagnosis and management of vesico ureteric reflux

1979 Prof Norman L Chater (California)   Revascularisation of the brain

1978 Prof John B Kinmouth (London) Progress in lymphology

1977 Prof Hans Marberger (Innisbruck) Urological trauma

1976 Prof John P Blandy (London)   Surgery of the benign prostate


2017 Professor Calvin Coffey                     Da Vinci and Colorectal Surgery

2016 Professor Martin Corbally (RCSI Bahrain)          The Surgeon in the Modern World

2015 Professor Cathal Kelly (RCSI) Leadership in Surgery – Perspective from a CEO

2014 Mr James Sheehan (Galway Clinic) Irish Surgery; Reflections on the Past & A Vision for the Future

2013 Professor Patrick Broe (Dublin) Irish Surgery: The Need for Vision and Leadership

2012 Professor John MacFie (Scarborough, UK) Training Surgeons for Future Service Requirements

2011 Professor Eilis McGovern (Dublin) Surgical Training & Surgical Service- Are we getting the Formula Right?

2010 Mr Brendan Moran The Learning Curve in Colorectal Cancer Surgery – Grappling with New Technology’

2009 Professor Arnold Hill (Dublin) ‘Breast Cancer and the Cancer Strategy – Past, Present and Future’

2008 Professor Frank Keane (Dublin) ‘Governing Ourselves’

2007 Professor Ronan O’Connell (Dublin) ‘Publication in an Electronic Era’

2006 Professor Gerald O’Sullivan (Cork) ‘Surgical Practice – A Combination of Clinical and Research Based Developments’

2005 Professor Oscar Traynor (Dublin) Surgical Education for the Future: The Irish Perspective’

2004 Mr John Hyland (Dublin) The Evolution of Colorectal Surgery

2003 Professor Cathal Kelly (Dublin) Vascular Surgery:  What is the Future?

2002 Professor John Reynolds (Dublin) SIRS, Sepsis and Organ Failure:
The Role of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2001 Professor Pierce Grace (Limerick) Irish Surgery: Past, Present & Future

2000 Professor Barry O’Donnell (Dublin) The ever-rising price of professional independence:
Reflections of a decommissioned warhorse

1999 Professor Tom Gorey (Dublin) Advances in breast cancer: forward with screening

1998 Prof Paul Redmond (Cork) Unravelling metastatic behaviour - a surgical perspective

1997 Mr Brian Hurson (Dublin) Current surgical management of malignant bone tumours

1996 Prof TG Parks (Belfast) An appraisal of the surgical management of abdominal injuries

1995 Mr James J Murphy (Dublin) MedicalmMalpracticelLitigation - An Irish Epidemic

1994 Prof William O Kirwan (Cork) Coloproctology

1993 Mr Maurice Nelligan (Dublin) The magic lettuce leaf

1992 Prof Tom Hennessy (Dublin) Gastro-oesophageal reflux

1991 Prof Niall O’Higgins (Dublin) Thyroid disease

1990 Prof John Fitzpatrick (Dublin) Urology updated

1989 Prof Michael P Brady (Cork) Endocrine surgery

1988 Prof David Bouchier-Hayes (Dublin) Problems and challenges in vascular surgery