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Nicholas John Frootko

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Nicholas John Frootko is a retired South African / British Otolaryngologist / Head and Neck Surgeon with a special interest and expertise in Ear Surgery.

Nicholas John Frootko
Born12 September 1943
Johannesburg, South Africa
NationalitySouth African / British
EducationMB.,BCh., (Wits), M.Sc., (Oxon), F.R.C.S. (Eng).
OccupationConsultant ENT Surgeon

Biography[edit | edit source]

Nicholas “Nicky” John Frootko was born into a medical family in Johannesburg in 1943. He attended Hyde Park High School and qualified in Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in 1969. In 1970 he married his late wife Susan Lovell (1944- 2011). After completing his “housemanship's" at the Johannesburg General Teaching Hospital and a year as a Medical Officer conscripted into the South African Army, he and Susan moved to the United Kingdom and he began his formal training in Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery in Oxford, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1977 and was appointed Clinical Lecturer in Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery in the Nuffield Dept. of Surgery and the Dept. of Otolaryngology, University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Surgical Career and Academia[edit | edit source]

He was a popular teacher and in 1978/79 the Oxford medical undergraduates, awarded him the Tingewick Society’s, Sir William Osler Golden Stethoscope prize, considering him the outstanding teacher in the clinical medical school.

His clinical work and laboratory research.[1] in Oxford was mainly focused on surgical techniques of middle ear reconstruction, biocompatible materials and the immunology of allograft tympanoplasty, earning him invitations to present papers at the first International Symposium on Biomaterials in Otology, Leiden, the Netherlands, April 1983 [2],the first International Academic Conference in immunology and Immunopathology as applied to Otology and Rhinology, Utrecht, The Netherlands,1984 [3], the International Conference on the Post Operative Evaluation in Middle Ear Surgery. Antwerp, Belgium, 1984 [4],and other conferences.

Extensive travel took him to the operating theatres of Otologists who were leaders in the field of ear surgery, to assist and observe their operating techniques first hand and witness how their operating theatres functioned. He always advocated that young surgeons should seek out such leaders and have at least one mentor, and his, in the 1980’s was the late Professor Jean Marquet, Antwerp, Belgium – the father of Tympano-meatal and tympano-ossicular allograft transplant surgery.

He was appointed Consultant Otolaryngologist at London’s Whipps Cross University Hospital in 1983. Here he continued his ear reconstruction procedures and his contribution to ear surgery was recognised when he was invited to write the chapter on Middle Ear Reconstruction for Scott-Brown’s Otolaryngology, the seminal and definitive multivolume surgical text book used by training surgeons and specialists world wide. His chapters appear in both the 5th edition,1987 [5] and 6th edition, 1997 [6].

In 1984 Frootko, working with James Triffitt (now Emeritus Professor of Bone Metabolism in Oxford), was able to demonstrate new bone formation in human demineralised allograft ossicles used to reconstruct the ossicular chain [7]. Unfortunately this pioneering clinical trial and all other reconstructive procedures using allografts were abandoned in 1987 because of the potential risk of transmission of HIV and Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease from donor material to recipient. Frootko then turned his focus to the use of autografts and biomaterials.

Frootko also established and supervised very successful clinical courses at Whipps Cross Hospital's Medical Education Centre in London, to prepare training surgeons for the Royal College’s of Surgeons final F.R.C.S. examinations in Otorhinolanyngology/Head and Neck Surgery [8].

The last research project that he initiated and supervised, determined the detrimental effect of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on adult hearing thresholds [9]

Contribution as expert witness[edit | edit source]

In 1985 together with legal experts, he was invited by Thompsons Solicitors, one of the United Kingdom's leading personal injury law firms, to be their expert medical witness, in cases of noise induced hearing loss, sustained by workers mainly in the motor vehicle manufacturing and public transport industries in Britain. Between 1985 and 2004 he was instrumental in getting financial compensation for over thirty thousand plaintiff’s and for the introduction of measures to protect the hearing of people working in noisy industries in Britain.

Retirement[edit | edit source]

He retired in 2004 to Plettenberg Bay in South Africa and married Helen Mudge in 2014. He and Helen spend the European summers at their cottage in France. Together they have eight children and four grand children.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Frootko, N. J. (1984). Allograft Rejection in the Middle Ear of the Rat. (M.Sc. Thesis). Oxford: Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.
  2. Frootko, N. J. (1984). "Causes of Ossiculoplasty Failure using Porous Polyethylene (Plasti-Pore) Prostheses". In Grote, J. J. Biomaterials in Otology. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 169–176. doi:10.1007/978-94-009-6756-4_20. ISBN 9789400967588.
  3. Frootko, N. J. (1985). "Immune Responses in Allograft Tympanoplasty". In Veldman, J. E.; Mc Cabe, B. F.; Huising, E. H.; Mygind, N. Autoimmunity and Transplantation in Otorhinolaryngology. Kugler Publications. pp. 171–176. ISBN 9789062990153. OCLC 895651393.
  4. Frootko, N. J. (1985). "Tympanic Allografts--Immunopathology and Applying the Language of "Transplantese" to Tympanoplasty". In Marquet, J. F. E. Surgery and Pathology of the Middle Ear. Dordrecht: Springer Publications. pp. 225 and 374–376. ISBN 978-94-009-5002-3.
  5. Frootko, N. J. (1987). "Chapter 11: Reconstruction of the Ear" (PDF). In Booth, J. B.; Kerr, A. G. Scott-Brown's Otolaryngology. Vol. 3 "The Ear" (5th ed.). London: Butterworth. pp. 238–263. ISBN 9780407005105. OCLC 15791789.
  6. Frootko, N. J. (1997). "Chapter 11: Reconstruction of the Middle Ear". In Booth, J. B.; Kerr, A. G. Scott-Brown's Otolaryngology. Vol. 3 "Otology" (6th ed.). London: Butterworth/Heinemann. pp. 3/11/1–3/11/30. ISBN 9780750605977. OCLC 456629784.
  7. Frootko, N. J.; Triffitt, J. T. (1984). "Osteoinduction in Human Demineralized Malleus and Incus Allo-Implants used to Reconstruct the Ossicular Chain — A Preliminary Report". Metabolic Bone Disease and Related Research. 5 (4): 206. doi:10.1016/0221-8747(84)90034-1. ISSN 0221-8747.
  8. Frootko, N. J. (1985). "The Whipps Cross F.R.C.S. (ENT) Course". The Journal of Laryngology & Otology. 99 (11): b1–b6. doi:10.1017/S0022215100098200. ISSN 0022-2151.
  9. Tay, H. L.; Ray, N.; Ohri, R.; Frootko, N. J. (1995). "Diabetes mellitus and hearing loss". Clinical Otolaryngology and Allied Science. 20 (2): 130–134. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2273.1995.tb00029.x. ISSN 1749-4478.


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