William Halsted

William Stewart Halsted (1852 – 1922)

William Stewart Halsted (1852 – 1922) was an American surgeon.

One of the four founding physicians of Johns Hopkins Hospital: William Henry Welch, William Osler, Howard Kelly and William Stewart Halsted

Halsted operation – wide amputation of the breast with ablation of the pectoral muscles and local and axillary lymph node cleaning in the mammary carcinoma.

Halsted syndrome – postoperative oedema of the upper limb after extensive amputation of the breast.

  • Born 1852
  • Died September 1922

Medical Eponyms

Key Medical Contributions

1885 – Performed the first brachial plexus block via a surgical approach


Halstead performed a ‘secret’ operation on Rudolph Matas (1860 – 1957) Matas for a ‘mass’ in 1903. It was never divulged during the life time of either man. Only upon autopsy following Matas’ death, was it noted that he had undergone a right orchidectomy.  

Major Publications



Eponymous terms

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, 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 |

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.