Koch·er \ˈkȯḵ-ər\ , Emil Theodor (1841–1917), Swiss surgeon. Kocher spent virtually all of his career at the university surgical clinic at Bern. He made important contributions to the understanding of the physiology and pathology of the thyroid and the treatment of goiter occurring with and without hyperthyroidism. In 1876 he performed the first excision of the thyroid gland for the treatment of goiter; he published a description of his surgical procedure in 1878. Later, in 1883, he reported his discovery of a characteristic cretinoid pattern in patients after total excision of the thyroid gland. In 1878 he performed a successful drainage of a gallbladder, utilizing the forceps that have since become associated with his name. He also published in 1892 a textbook of operative surgery that remained a standard reference for many years. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1909.