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December 1954


AMA Arch Surg. 1954;69(6):818-823. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1954.01270060060008

HISTORY  IN THE ancient days, Egyptians and Hindus described urinary calculi and various types of lithotomy.1 From the writings of Hippocrates, the operation was evidently performed in many instances by itinerant and unscrupulous practitioners. Hippocrates in his oath, about 400 B. C., stated, "I shall not cut for stones." It is, of course, not clear whether it was because the operation was followed so frequently by disastrous results or death, or whether it was that the Father of medicine did not wish to be classified with the type of practitioner who usually did lithotomy.Through the centuries, much was written about urinary calculi, but little advance was made, either in the diagnosis or treatment, until Roentgen, in 1895, discovered the rays that bear his name. In 1896 McIntire described the diagnosis of urinary calculi by roentgenography, and Schmidt, in Chicago, was the first to employ a metallic wire inside

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