In 1618, according to Thudichum,1 Johannes Fabricius removed gallstones from the gallbladder of a living subject. Fabricius Hildauus refers to this operation in his "Surgical Observations," but it is not clear whether the operation was premortem, as the only evidence of the subject's being alive is the somewhat dubious expression "delineatio horum lapidum ad vivum facta."
No such shadow hangs over Petit's2 first project. During the decade beginning with 1733 he discussed boldly and with great acumen tumors of the gallbladder and the sequences of biliary obstruction. From these papers and the discussion which arose over them he emerged as the founder of gallbladder surgery, his description of symptoms and outlines of operative procedures remaining classic.
Neither Petit nor Thudichum, who wrote with equal insight a century and half later, failed to evaluate the difficulties of gallbladder surgery excepting one. Neither mentioned the hemorrhagic tendency in obstructive jaundice
CARR JL, FOOTE FS. PROGRESSIVE OBSTRUCTIVE JAUNDICE: CHANGES IN CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF THE BLOOD AND THEIR RELATION TO COAGULATION. Arch Surg. 1934;29(2):277–296. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01180020109006
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: