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Biographical entry Graves, Frederick Thomas (1919 - 2003)

MRCS 1943; FRCS 1949; MB BS London 1943; MS 1955; DSc 1974; LRCP 1943.

Hereford, UK
27 February 2003
General surgeon


Fred Graves was a general surgeon in Staffordshire with an interest in urology. He was born in Hereford in 1919, later studied medicine at University College Hospital and specialised in surgery at King’s College Hospital. He was subsequently appointed consultant general surgeon at Staffordshire General Infirmary.

Graves undertook original research on the kidney, carried out in his workshop at home. Concerned by the poor results of surgery for stone in the kidney, at that time dominated by the misleading concept of Brödel’s ‘bloodless’ line, and the inefficient method of controlling haemorrhage during nephrolithotomy, he studied the vascular anatomy of the kidney using the corrosion cast technique, which had been developed by Tompsett at the College. He discovered the segmental anatomy of the renal arteries, leading directly to the development of safe techniques for partial nephrectomy, the reconstruction of malformations of the renal artery and conservative surgery of small tumours of the kidney. This work was of exceptional importance, gained him a Hunterian professorship in 1956 and a masters in surgery, and was published in a monograph The arterial anatomy of the kidney: the basis of surgical technique (Bristol, John Wright and Sons, 1971). His interest in research continued throughout his career and he was awarded a DSc by the University of London in 1974 for his work on renal tubules. He was a visiting professor of urology at Wake Forest University, North Carolina, USA.

He married Mary and they had two children. There are four grandchildren. He died on 27 February 2003.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2003 326 935; European Urology Today June 2003.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England