(*Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai)
Kermit Edward Krantz (1923 - 2007) was an outstanding American obstetrician and gynecologist. Born in Illinois into a family of six siblings, and himself being one of the twins, he lost his parents at the young age of 13. He is believed to have worked multiple jobs simultaneously, and self-funded his education. One of his jobs as a teenager was as a helper in the anatomy museum of the university he would go on to study.
He went on to the Northwestern university, where he completed a Masters in Science and in Anatomy. His early interests in anatomy formed the foundation to his later successes in gynecological surgery. After serving clinical residency in Cornell, he joined the university hospital at Arkansas, where he became the head of the department of obstetrics/gynecology, at a rather young age of 36. One of his significant contributions was the modernization of the maternity ward, including making specific divisions for patients who required specific care. He was also instrumental in popularizing laser based procedures in gynecology and did substantial research on premalignant lesions of the cervix. He also served as dean of the medical school at Arkansas and held various top posts at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
His pioneering achievement was the procedure of abdominal urethral suspension. Along with his colleagues, Marshall and Marchietti, he held patent to the procedure which was popularly referred to as the MMK procedure. It was first published in 1949, and it has been hailed as a landmark article. Many urogynecological surgeons adopted this procedure, and for three decades, its utility was repeatedly proven.[5-8] The MMK procedure was the result of sound medical scientific collaboration. The anatomical analysis was provided by Krantz and the physiological basis was provided by the other two collaborators. Krantz went on to perform around 5000 of these operations, with a long term success rate of more than 75 %.
Throughout his career, he was a champion of equal rights for patients and mitigation of discrimination based on race and religion, and had been honored extensively. Perhaps the most inspiring honour was that the anatomy museum in Northwestern university where he started of a teenaged helper boy, went on to be renamed after him. The life and achievements of Prof Krantz shall remain an inspiration for generations of gynecologists to come.
- Kermit E Krantz. Available from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_E._Krantz
- Biographies. In O’Dowd MJ, Philipp EE, editors. The History of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1st ed. Lancs: Parthenon Publishing Group 2000; pp. 633-4
- Marshall VF, Marchetti AA, Krantz KE. The correction of stress incontinence by simple vesicourethral suspension. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1949 Apr;88(4):509-18.
- Marshall VF, Marchetti AA, Krantz KE. The correction of stress incontinence by simple vesicourethral suspension. 1949. J Urol. 2002 Oct;168(4 Pt 1):1326-31.
- McDuffie RW Jr, Litin RB, Blundon KE. Urethrovesical suspension (Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz). Experience with 204 cases. Am J Surg. 1981 Feb;141(2):297-8.
- Hegarty PK, Power PC, O'Brien MF, Bredin HC. Longevity of the Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz procedure. Ann Chir Gynaecol. 2001;90(4):286-9.
- Strittmatter HJ, Neises M, Wischnik A, Melchert F. [Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz operation or fasciaplasty in therapy of recurrent urinary incontinence in women]. [Article in German] Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 1993 Sep;53(9):630-4.
- Kjer JJ, Hebjørn S, Jaszczak P. A follow-up study of the Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz vesicourethral operation for female incontinence. Zentralbl Gynakol. 1983;105(22):1468-71.
- Obituaries. Kermit E. Krantz. Available from: https://web.archive.org/web/20070927201324/http://www.legacy.com/KansasCity/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=91819956
Prasad M. Remembering Past Greats: Kermit Krantz. JPGO 2019. Volume 6 No.1. Available from: https://www.jpgo.org/2019/01/remembering-past-greats-kermit-krantz.html