Tag Archives: Surgery

The appendicitis conundrum

Jayant Radhakrishnan Nathaniel Koo Darien, Illinois, United States   Lorenz Heister (1683-1758) was a German surgeon and anatomist. In 1711, he described acute appendicitis in great detail and suggested that it be treated. From Institutiones chirurgicae, in quibus quicquid ad rem chirurgicam pertinet optima et novissima ratione pertractatur, Neapel, Antonio Cervone, 1749. Via Wikimedia. No […]

Infectious diseases in the Civil War

Lloyd Klein  San Francisco, California, United States   Dr. Louis Pasteur. Photo by Paul Nadar, 1878. Wellcome Collection. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. The main cause of death during the American Civil War was not battle injury but disease. About two-thirds of the 620,000 deaths of Civil War soldiers were caused by disease, including 63% […]

Dr. Dominique Larrey

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Larrey provokes contractions on a recently amputated limb. Illustration from Les merveilles de la science, 1867-1891, Tome 1, by Louis Figuier. Paris: Furne, Jouvet. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Dominique Jean Larrey (1766-1842), the orphaned son of a shoemaker, was raised by an uncle who was a surgeon and became a […]

Wilhelm Baum (1799–1883)

Wilhelm Baum. Photograph of painting by Wilhelm Title. Uploaded by Mehlauge. Via Wikimedia. Postgraduate medical education in the nineteenth century required personal contact with the masters of the profession – working and rounding with them, or at least listening to their lectures. Thus the German surgeon Wilhelm Baum spent one year after obtaining his doctorate […]

Disaster code

Nohad Masri Beirut, Lebanon   Aftermath. Artwork by Hala Masri, August 2020. It was six in the evening and we were finishing our hematology board virtual meeting. Because COVID-19 cases were again on the rise, the hospital staff was working at half capacity, with the other half at home. The chemotherapy unit patients had finished […]

Sacrifice

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Ruins of the basilica of St. Achillios, Lake Prespa, Greece. Photo by the author. The supine and inert feminine form has been reduced to a few square centimeters of uncovered skin between the jaw and the sternum. Strategically placed green surgical drapes shroud the rest of the body. A series […]

Pain versus survival

Marissa Armoogam Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies   Painting of Jan De Doot by Carel van Savoyen. 1650s. Portrait Collection of the Laboratory of Pathology, Leiden University. Via Wikimedia. Pain has long been a given in any surgical procedure, but thanks to the many advances in medicine and particularly in anesthesia, the experience of insurmountable […]

Alexis Carrel: the sunshine and the shadow

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Alexis Carrel. Unknown photographer. 1912. From Popular Science Monthly Volume 81, on the Internet Archive. Via Wikimedia. Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) was as complex as his glass perfusion pump apparatus. A brilliant research surgeon, he won the Nobel Prize in Medicine before his fortieth birthday for his […]

A drawing created during World War I

Tilman Sauerbruch Bonn, Germany   Fig 1. Portrait-drawing of the of the surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch by Max Beckmann 1915 at the frontline during World War I (private collection). A photograph of a drawing by Max Beckmann (1884-1950) of the surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875-1951) has been hanging in my room since my student days (Fig. 1). […]

Women surgeons

Moustapha Abousamra Ventura, California, United States   Cactus flower with buds. Image courtesy of the author. Last spring, I spent three months in the Texas Hill Country. It is a place that at once can be beautiful and hostile. The fields of blue bonnets in full bloom are breathtaking. The cacti that abound around barbed wire […]