Happy 150 Birthday Canada!

June 30, 2017

When Canada celebrated its eighth birthday in 1875, the London General Hospital opened its doors.

In its first year, doctors and nurses performed two surgeries, treated one cancer patient and monitored two people with heart disease.

Fast forward 142 years since horse-drawn ambulances brought patients to the hospital, and London Health Sciences Centre is known for excellence in patient care, leading edge medical treatment, advanced research, and a focus on training future generations.

In the years between there have been name changes and mergers. From London General Hospital to Victoria Hospital, the inclusion of Children’s Memorial Hospital and Westminster Hospital, and then merging with University Hospital, a rich history has come together to form what we now call London Health Sciences Centre.

Within the walls of these hospitals is a proud legacy of caring for the sick and vulnerable, of innovation to transform medical care for the benefit of the people in London, the region, country and indeed, the world.

Please go to the hospital website to read LHSC’s historical highlights and LHSC’s Canadian and North American medical firsts.

LHSC World Firsts


First to recognize sexual dimorphism in human cells, leading to new knowledge of the relationship between sex chromosome abnormalities and human disease


The first cobalt bomb used to deliver radiation therapy to cancer patients


First surgical procedure for aneurysms at the base of the brain, called basilar aneurysms


First heart operation to correct life threatening right ventricular dysplasia, a condition which weakens the heart’s ability to pump blood


First cardiac defibrillator is implanted


First successful liver-small bowel transplant


First invasive inner ear surgery for vertigo in normal hearing ears


First 3D ultrasound-guided cryosurgery


First implantable miniature recording device developed that monitors the heartbeat during fainting spells.


First transplant of a liver, bowel, stomach, and pancreas into a five-month-old infant, the youngest recipient of a multi-organ transplant

First plasma exchange treatment credited with saving the life of a man with a severe case of food poisoning


First closed-chest, robotic-assisted beating heart coronary artery bypass graft


First robotic-assisted lung volume reduction

First robotic-assisted surgery via telementoring, in which one surgeon assisted and mentored another surgeon at a remote site, both manipulating robotic arms inside the patient in the operating room


First 3-D image-guided robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection of a lung cancer


First robotic-assisted left atrial appendage ligation to reduce the chance of clot formation and stroke in high risk patients with atrial fibrillation


First robotically-assisted intestinal bypass surgery for a patient with superior mesenteric artery syndrome, also known as Wilkie’s syndrome


First use of a new implantable surgical device that renders aortic bypass surgery almost bloodless, eliminating the need to stop the heart and put the patient on a heart-lung bypass machine


First successful emergency robotic surgery to repair a hole in a patient’s heart caused by a pacemaker complication


First treatment of localized prostate cancer with an ablation device that uses thermal ultrasound therapy with real-time magnetic resonance image guidance to eliminate cancer cells