In 1933, the University College established the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr. G. A. W. Wickramasuriya, who played a key role in setting up the Department in its initial stages, was the first Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He was appointed as the first Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1936.
In 1943, he was succeeded by Prof. Sir Nicholas Attygalle who was well known as an efficient administrator. During his time, the Department grew in its academic responsibilities and provided excellent clinical services through Ward 39 in the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (then called General Hospital, Colombo) and through Ward 15 in the De Soysa Maternity Hospital. Later on Sir Attygalle became the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ceylon.
Prof. D. A. Ranasinghe continued with the work that was established by his predecessors and the Master of Gynaecology examination (MOGS) which was a local post graduate exam was established during that time. The department gradually expanded its research activities which consisted mostly of surveys related to pregnancy and its disorders in general and cardiac disease in particular.
Prof. D. E. Gunatillake was the first Chairman of the Board of Study in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the first MS Part 1 examination was organized under his chairmanship. His main contribution to the Department and Sri Lanka was the introduction of laparoscopy. Electronic fetal monitoring was also introduced at that time.
Prof. S. H. P. Nanayakkara was reputed for his excellent radical gynaecological surgery and the post graduates as well as the staff benefited by developing their skills in this area under his leadership.
Prof. H. R. Seneviratne initiated laboratory based research and upgraded the general laboratory to handle tertiary care management of patients seeking care for reproductive health disorders. He established the Andrology laboratory and initiated Intra Uterine Insemination as a management option for subfertility for the first time in Sri Lanka. He was the pioneer in establishing subspecialties in Reproductive biology and Reproductive Medicine in the Professorial Unit of the faculty. He was actively involved in the changeover from the old curriculum to the problem oriented and student based new curriculum. He also established special clinics for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, Heart diseases complicating pregnancy, Subfertility and Menopause management.
Chair Professors of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Professor H. M. Senanayake
MBBS, MS, MRCO, FRCS, FSLCOG, FRCOG
2015 – 2019
Professor H.R. Senenviratne
MBBS, MRCOG(UK), MD
1992 – 2012
Professor S.H.P. Nanayakkara
MB, FRCS, FRCOG
1984 – 1991
FRCS(UK), FRCOG(UK), FCOG(SriLanka)
1975 – 1983
LMS(Cey), FRCS(UK), FRCOG(UK), DSC(Cey)
1953 – 1974
Sir Nicholas Attygalle
LMS(Cey), MRCS, LRCP(UK), DLO(UK), FRCS(UK), FRCOG(UK), DSC(Cey)
1943 – 1953
Dr. G.A.W. Wickramasuriya
FRCOG, FRCOP, FRCO
1933 – 1943