Asia’s first and world’s third woman neurosurgeon, T.S. Kanaka, died in Chennai on Wednesday after a brief illness. She was 86.
Dr. Kanaka, who retired as professor of Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, Madras Medical College (MMC), in 1990, was known to have inspired many women to take to the field of neurosurgery in the country.
“She was the third woman neurosurgeon in the whole world. She has inspired at least 75 to 80 women to become neurosurgeons in the country. As an 11-year-old child then, I started to look up to her and went on to become a neurosurgeon, the second in our family,” said her niece.
“Her main aim after retirement from MMC was to serve the needy and poor. She wanted to treat the geriatric age group, and went on to establish a centre, Sri Santhana Krishna Padmavathi Health Care and Research Foundation in Chromepet with all her pension benefits,” she said.
One of her areas of interests was deep brain stimulation.
Dr TS Kanaka has the distinction of becoming the first neurosurgeon in India to perform chronic electrode implants in the brain, besides pioneering the performance of deep brain stimulation way back in 1975.
She will always remain an inspiration for the generations to come.
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