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December 19, 1966

Fabricius ab Aquapendente

JAMA. 1966;198(12):1313. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110250127040

To the Editor:—  The influence of Fabricius ab Aquapendente was even greater than your editorial note would indicate (198:178, 1966).In his "original" description of the "Trendelenburg position," Friedrich Trendelenburg made it quite clear that he did not claim originality. He pointed out that Fabricius ab Aquapendente had ordered patients hung up by the knees and feet with the head down and the pelvis higher than the thorax. Both he and the ancients found the position conducive to the spontaneous reduction of such things as incarcerated femoral hernias.To be proper, therefore, we should refer to the "Fabricius ab Aquapendente position" rather than the "Trendelenburg position" when we lower the top end of the patient in order to get a better look in the pelvis. You will find these truths in the article by Trendelenburg, "Operations for Vesico-Vaginal Fistula and the Elevated Pelvic Position for Operations Within the Abdominal