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February 28, 1903

The First Hepaticotomy—Credit to America.

JAMA. 1903;XL(9):594. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490090042012

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Fremont, Ohio, Jan. 30, 1903.

To the Editor:  —Some reviews of the history of surgery on the bile ducts, the German literature especially, give Kocher credit for having made the first hepaticotomy. Professor Courvoisier of Basel, Switzerland, in his work on "Pathology and Surgery of the Bile Ducts," published in 1890, also mentions the fact that Kocher made his first hepaticotomy, 8, xi, 1889. Since history principally consists in recording and comparing facts in their relation to human actions I think I may be justified in referring you to a case which I published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, March 31, 1888, under the title "Operation for Gallstones; Congenital Absence of Gallbladder." It is probably due to the fact that I did not coin a new Greek name for this operation that it has been overlooked, as in all other details it could be called a hepaticotomy.

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