Maister Peter Lowe and his 16th century contributions to cranial surgery.

R. Shane Tubbs, Martin Mortazavi, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Marios Loukas, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Before the advent of neurosurgery as a discipline, various historic surgeons performed procedures on the skull and brain. One early pioneer of surgery, Peter Lowe (c. 1550-1612), not only wrote of methods of cranial surgery in his Chirurgerie, which was the first comprehensive text of surgery written in English, but also founded what would become the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons. Included in the powers given to him by King James VI was the authority to regulate the practices of medicine, surgery, and pharmacy in the west of Scotland. This 16th century Scottish surgeon trained in Paris, where he was influenced by Ambroise Paré and wrote about the "Spanish sickness." In his surgical text, Lowe wrote about his methods of multiple neurosurgical procedures. The present study discusses the life of Maister Peter Lowe and reviews his contributions to what became the art of neurosurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-263; discussion 263
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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