Nissen, Rudolph (1896–1981),
Swiss (German-born) surgeon. From 1920 to 1933 Nissen held a series of surgical positions at the universities of Breslau, Freiburg, Munich, and Berlin. From 1933 to 1939 he served as professor of surgery and head of the department at the University of Istanbul. After extended stays at hospitals in New York City, he emigrated to Basel, Switzerland, to become professor of surgery at the university and chief surgeon at Burgerspital. He authored or coauthored over 30 books on surgery and 475 papers on thoracic and abdominal surgery. He first performed the fundoplication associated with his name in 1951 on a patient with a hole in the esophageal sphincter; in 1956 he proposed the surgical procedure for the treatment of reflux of gastric contents due to improper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter. Nissen is also credited with performing the first total pneumonectomy in 1931.