Allen Oldfather Whipple
Allen Oldfather Whipple (1881-1963) was an American surgeon.
Best known for the pancreatic cancer operation (pancreaticoduodenectomy) eponymously named the Whipple procedure, of which he performed 37 during his career
Associated with the Whipple triad indicative of potential hyperinsulinemia secondary to pancreatic insulinoma
- Born September 2, 1881 Urmia, Persia
- Studied at Princeton University initially
- 1908 – Graduated from medical school at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York
- 1921 – Professor of surgery of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York. Later became Surgeon in Chief
- 1934 – President of the New York Surgical Society
- 1936 – President of the Society of Clinical Surgery
- 1940 – President of the American Surgical Association
- Father to 2 sons and one daughter
- 1946 – Retired, though continued work in surgical education, research and writing
- Died April 6, 1963, New Jersey
Whipple procedure (1935) Pancreaticoduodenectomy
Whipple triad (1938)
Three criteria (Whipple criteria) which were deemed suggestive of hypoglycemia that may indicate the presence of pancreatic insulinomas requiring surgical management:
- Hypoglycemia Clinical – Signs and symptoms (e.g. confusion, tachycardia, seizure, diaphoresis, coma)
- Hypoglycemia Measured – Blood glucose level <50 mg/dL
- Hypoglycemia Resolution – Relief of symptoms after the administration of IV glucose
Key Medical Attributions:
Whipple supervised the surgical residency of Virginia Apgar and recommended that she not pursue a career as a surgeon, but consider anesthesiology instead . As head of the Department of Surgery, he saw a growing need for medically managed anesthesia and knew surgery depended on advancements in this field in order to progress. He saw in Apgar the ‘energy and ability‘ to make a significant contribution.
- Whipple AO. Parsons WB, Mullins CR. Treatment of carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater. Annals of Surgery. 1935;102(4): 763-779.[Whipple procedure]
- Whipple AO. The Surgical Therapy of Hyperinsulinism. Journal International de Chirurgie. 1938; 3: 237-276 [Whipple triad]
- Whipple AO. Present day surgery of the pancreas. N Engl J Med 1942;226(13): 515-526.
- Whipple AO. Observations on radical surgery for lesions of the pancreas. Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics 1946; 82: 623-31
- Whipple AO. A reminiscence: pancreaticoduodenectomy. Rev Surg. 1963; 20: 221-225.
Allen Whipple was not related to George Hoyt Whipple (of Whipple disease), but as a young intern AO Whipple treated GH Whipple for a serious bout of malaria and following convalescence the two became lifelong friends
- Johna S. Allen Oldfather Whipple: A Distinguished Surgeon and Historian. Dig Surg 2003;20:154–162
- Haubrich WS. Whipple of Whipple’s disease. Gastroenterology. 1999;117(3):576
- Johna S, Schein M. The Memoirs of Allen Oldfather Whipple: The man behind the Whipple operation. TFM Publishing. 2003
the person behind the name
Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |