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Biographical entry Parry, Edgar Williams (1919 - 2011)

MB ChB Liverpool 1943; FRCS Edin 1949; FRCS 1955; MS.

1 May 1919
Betws Garmon, Gwynedd, UK
9 February 2011
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Edgar Williams Parry was a consultant surgeon at Broadgreen, Bootle and Waterloo hospitals, Liverpool, and a leader in the field of vascular surgery. He was born at Betws Garmon, a hamlet in north Wales, on 1 May 1919, the son of a farmer, and was educated at Caernarvon Grammar School. He studied medicine at Liverpool University and qualified MB ChB in 1943.

He was a house officer, a resident surgical officer and a registrar in Liverpool. He then went back to Wales, working at the Caernarvon and Anglesey Hospital in Bangor. In the early 1950s he spent some time at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, where he researched venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism under Robert Milnes Walker. He then went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, for a year, where he worked with Jack Grindley.

On his return to the UK he became a senior lecturer in surgery at Liverpool under Charles Wells. In 1956 he was appointed to his consultant post at Bootle, Waterloo and Broadgreen hospitals, and was an honorary senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool throughout his consultant years. From 1980 to 1981 he was president of the Liverpool Medical Institution.

During his career he saw a rapid development in the techniques of vascular surgery. When he began as a consultant the most common vascular operations were amputations and lumbar sympathectomy (an operation to treat blocked arteries which involved dividing the lumbar sympathetic nerve chain). As new preventative techniques emerged, Parry was among the first to introduce them into UK hospitals. In 1956 he carried out his first non-ruptured aortic aneurysm operation, and he went on to perform successful operations on the carotid artery under hypothermia and to bypass femoral arteries in the leg. He also took part in the first few kidney transplants in the Mersey region, and developed new procedures for the removal of blood clots from deep veins in the leg.

Outside medicine, he enjoyed golf, travelling and gardening.

Edgar Parry died on 9 February 2011, aged 91. He was survived by his wife Enid (née Rees), a fellow medical student, whom he had married in 1949, their son and daughter.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2011 343 4622; The Telegraph 20 April 2011 - accessed 29 April 2015].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England