Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: appendicitis

  • The emergency room doctor

    Rob OttesenVero Beach, Florida, United States If you were to ask me, I like to have a glazed doughnut before I go to sleep because the sugar in the doughnut inhibits my body’s production of orexin, a neuropeptide, thereby ensuring a peaceful slumber. I also like the taste of the doughnut and the warm and fuzzy…

  • The appendicitis conundrum

    Jayant RadhakrishnanNathaniel KooDarien, Illinois, United States Acute appendicitis is the most common abdominal surgical emergency in the world. One would expect consensus regarding its management, but that has not been the case from the time the appendix was first identified. Galen (129–216 CE) was not permitted to dissect human bodies, so he dissected monkeys. Since…

  • George Crile Sr., founder of the Cleveland Clinic

    Portrait of G. W. Crile. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Early days George Crile was an exceptional man, a skilled surgeon who lived at a time when American medicine was emerging from its horse and buggy period and was embracing the principles of aseptic surgery and scientific medicine. Always full of new ideas, he was…

  • Sir Frederick Treves, who operated on King Edward VII

    Frederick Treves was born in Dorchester in 1853 and studied medicine at the London Hospital Medical College. He gained fame as Royal Surgeon to Edward VII, operating on his appendix just two days before the planned coronation. His decision to operate on June 24, 1902, caused the coronation to be postponed, and considering that the…

  • Phillipe Gaucher (1854-1918)

    Philippe Charles Ernest Gaucher. Via Wikimedia. In the days when syphilis was rampant in Europe and diagnostic modalities few, many unrelated medical conditions were erroneously attributed to it. There was, for example, the distinguished professor of syphilology and dermatology at the Hôpital Saint-Antoine and the University of Paris, who “aggressively promoted” the idea that poliomyelitis…

  • Harvey Cushing: Surgeon, Author, Soldier, Historian 1869-1939

    John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Harvey Williams Cushing. Photograph by W.(?)W.B. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Harvey Cushing was a third-generation physician, born to a family of New England Puritans who had migrated to Cleveland, Ohio, in the mid 1830s. His father and grandfather were successful physicians; family members on both…

  • Appendicitis: a teenager’s insight

    Berklee Cohen Clarksville, Maryland, United States   Berklee and his sister displaying their appendectomy scars in front of the community hospital where they underwent surgery. If we have enjoyed good health for most of our lives, we often take that health and happiness for granted. An event occurred during summer break that enabled me to…

  • The early days in the history of appendectomy

    Damiano Rondelli Chicago, Illinois, United States   Introduction What we define as appendicitis today is a relatively recent clinical picture that was well-described only in the 19th century. This is in part due to the difficult anatomic identification of the appendix. Although scholars believed to find possible descriptions of the appendix in the work of…