Robert Neuwirth

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 25 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2250
  1. Sophie Arie, London
  1. sarie{at}

Gynaecologist and inventor

Before the late 1960s, if a woman developed fibroids that caused excessive bleeding, the only way they could be tackled was with a hysterectomy.

Robert Neuwirth, a New York gynaecologist, was convinced there had to be a way to remove benign tumours from the uterine wall without having to take the whole uterus.

Neuwirth came up with the idea of inserting a telescope and precision tools via the vagina, so that surgeons could remove fibroids but leave the uterus intact.

Today the procedure—known as an operative hysteroscopy—is standard practice in the US and many other countries. It has made hysterectomies as a solution to fibroid problems a thing of the past.

Neuwirth became director of obstetrics and gynaecology at St Luke’s Hospital …

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