Nowhere are the revolutionary possibilities of surgical practice more strikingly illustrated than in the comparison of bygone with present methods of treating urethral stricture. While in an old book store we recently found a book descriptive of a method of treating strictures by caustic applications entitled, " An Improved Method of Treating Strictures in the Urethra," by Thomas Whately, M.R.C.S., etc., published in 1804. In view of the comment on the treatment of stricture by caustics appearing in the latest work on urethral stricture, in which the method is mentioned as a relic of surgical barbarity unworthy of serious attention, the pretensions of Mr. Whately's book are worthy of notice.
It would seem that this author had a long standing feud with the celebrated Everard Home— the English surgeon—on the subject of the proper treatment of urethral stricture. Mr. Home argued that there was but one treatment for this condition,
THE OLD-TIME TREATMENT OF STRICTURE OF THE URETHRA BY CAUSTICS.. JAMA. 1894;XXII(9):315–316. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420880031005