1902 Encyclopedia > Surgery > History of Surgery - 19th Century

(Part 7)


Part 7. 19th Century.

Two things have given surgical knowledge and skill in the 19th century a character of scientific or positive cumulativeness and a wide diffusion through all ranks of the profession. The one is the founding of museums of anatomy and surgical pathology by the Hunters, Dupuy-tren, Cloquet, Blumenbach, Barclay, and a great number of more modern anatomists and surgeons ; the other is tho method of clinical teaching, exemplified in its highest form of constant reference to principles by Lawrence and Syme. In surgical procedure the discovery of the an-aesthetic properties of ether, chloroform, methylene, &c, has been of incalculable service; while the conservative principle in operations upon diseased or injured parts and what may be called the hygienic idea (or, more narrowly, the antiseptic principle) in surgical dressings have been equally beneficial. The following are among the more important additions to the resources of the surgical art:— the thin thread ligature for arteries, introduced by Jones of Jersey (1805); the revival of torsion of arteries by Amussat (1829); the practice of drainage by Cliassaignac (1859); aspiration by Pelletan and recent improvers; the plaster-of-Paris bandage or other immovable applica-tion for simple fractures, club-foot, &c. (an old Eastern practice recommended in Europe about 1814 by the English consul at Bassorah); the re-breaking of badly set fractures ; galvano-caustics and ecraseurs ; the general introduction of resection of joints (Fergusson, Syme, and others); tenotomy by Delpech and Stromeyer (1831); operation for squint by Dieffenbach (1842); successful ligature of the external iliac for aneurism of the femoral by Abernethy (1806); ligature of the subclavian in the third portion by Astley Cooper (1806), and in its first por-tion by Colles; crushing of stone in the bladder by Gruit-huisen of Munich (1819) and Civiale of Paris (1826); cure of ovarian dropsy by removing the cyst (since greatly perfected); discovery of the ophthalmoscope, and many improvements in ophthalmic surgery by Von Grafe and others; application of the laryngoscope in operations on the larynx by Czermak (1860) and others; together with additions to the resources of aural surgery and dentistry. The great names in the surgery of the first half of the century besides those mentioned are:—Scarpa of Italy (1747-1832); Boyer (1757-1833), Larrey (1766-1842),— to whom Napoleon left a legacy of a hundred thousand francs, with the eulogy : " C'est l'homme le plus vertueux que j'aie connu,"—Boux (1780-1854), Lisfranc (1790-1847), Velpeau (1795-1868), Malgaigne (1806-1865), Nelaton (1807-1873),—all of the French school; of tho British school, John Bell, Charles Bell, Allan Burns, Liston, Wardrop, Astley Cooper, Cline, Travers, Brodie, Stanley, and Guthrie; in the United States, Mott, Gross, and others; in Germany, Kern and Schuh of Vienna, Von Waltlier and Textor of Wiirzburg, Chelius, Hesselbach, and the two Langenbecks. In surgical pathology the discoveries and doctrines of the 19th century are greater in scientific value than those of any antecedent period; and it would be unprofitable to attempt any enumeration of them, or of their authors, in a brief space.

The authorities mostly used have been—Wise, History of Medicine among the Asiatics, 2 vols., London, 1868 ; Paulus yEgineta, translated with commentary on the knowledge of the Greeks, Romans, and Arabians, in medicine and surgery, by Francis Adams, 3 vols., London, 1844-47 ; Haser, Gesch. d. Mcdicin, 3d ed., vols. i. and ii., 1875-81. (C. C.)

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