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Biographical entry Solan, Michael John (1932 - 1995)

MRCS and FRCS 1961; MB BS London 1957.

31 January 1932
12 March 1995
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Mike Solan was born in Eltham, London, on 31 January 1932. His father, Michael, was a Bank of England official and his mother was Doris Winifred Gladys Rogers, a Librarian. He was educated at Douai Abbey School, Berkshire, and at Woolwich Polytechnic and he attended St Thomas's Hospital Medical School in London. He spent two years doing military service in the Royal Artillery from 1950 to 1952, including one year in Gibraltar, and subsequently three years were spent with the Territorial Army. At St Thomas's he was resident assistant surgeon from 1966 to 1967 and lecturer and research assistant on the professorial unit from 1967 to 1968. He was appointed consultant general surgeon at Frimley Park Hospital, Farnham, Surrey, in 1968. He was a general surgeon who specialised in vascular work.

He was married three times and had four children. Two children by his early marriage followed him into medicine - one son, Matthew Charles, became a surgeon, and a daughter, Katherine Jane, became an anaesthetist.

He was a sociable man with a great sense of humour. He enjoyed playing rugby when young but, more importantly, he enjoyed playing the bass clarinet and was very interested in traditional music and jazz. As an older man he enjoyed sailing and the sea.

As a surgeon he had first-rate operative skills and was an excellent abdominal vascular surgeon. He was very much a 'surgeon's surgeon' whose colleagues sought his advice frequently for themselves as well as for their patients. He was excellent company with a zest for the good things in life, and was a natural leader of his local medical community. He was not a great or prolific surgical author, although one of his contributions 'post-operative gastric decompression by temporary gastrectomy' (Br J Surg 1965 82 569) did attract much attention and was widely used in clinical practice. He died of stomach cancer on 12 March 1995.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Family reminiscences; letter from Mr D M Greubel Lee FRCS and personal information from the author, H Brendan Devlin].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England