Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog sponsored by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community. We post anatomical, medical or surgical terms, their meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

You are welcome to submit questions and suggestions using our "Contact Us" form. The information on this blog follows the terms on our "Privacy and Security Statement" and cannot be construed as medical guidance or instructions for treatment.


We have 332 guests online


A Moment in History

Jean-Louis Petit

Jean Louis Petit
(1674 – 1750)

French surgeon and anatomist, Jean Louis Petit was born in Paris in on March 13, 1674.  His family rented an apartment at his house to Alexis Littre (1658 – 1726), a French anatomist. Petit became an apprentice of Littre at seven years of age, helping him in the dissections for his lectures and at an early age became the assistant in charge of the anatomic amphitheater.

Because of Petit’s dedication to anatomy and medicine, in 1690 at the age of sixteen, became a disciple of a famous Paris surgeon, Castel.

In 1692, Petit entered the French army and performed surgery in two military campaigns. By 1693 he started delivering lectures and was accepted as a great surgeon, being invited to the most difficult operations.  In 1700 he was appointed Chief Surgeon of the Military School in Paris and in the same year he received the degree of Master of Surgery from the Faculty of Paris.

In 1715 he was made a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the Royal Society of London. He was appointed by the King as the first Director General of the Royal Academy of Surgery when it was founded in 1731.

Petit’s written works are of historical importance.  “Traite des Maladies des Os” ( A Treatise on Bone Diseases);  “Traite des Maladies Chirurgicales et des Operation” (A Treatise on Surgical Diseases and their Operations” This last book was published posthumously in 1774. He also published a monograph on hemorrhage, another on lachrymal fistula, and others.

He was one of the first to perform choIecystotomy and mastoidotomy. His original tourniquet design for amputations saved many in the battlefield and the design of the same surgical instrument today has not changed much since its invention by him.

His name is remembered in the lumbar triangle, also called the "triangle of Petit", and the abdominal hernia that can ensue through that area of weakness, the lumbar hernia or "Petit's hernia".

Sources:
1. “Jean Louis Petit – A Sketch of his Life, Character, and Writings” Hayne, AP San Fran Western Lancet 1875 4: 446-454
2. “Oeuvres compl?tes de Jean-Louis Petit” 1837 Imprimerie de F. Chapoulaud
3. Extraits de l'eloge de Jean-Louis Petit Ius dans Ia seance publique de I' Academie royale de chirurgie du 26 mai 1750” Louis A. Chirurgie 2001: 126 : 475- 81


 "Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc., and the contributors of "Medical Terminology Daily" wish to thank all individuals who donate their bodies and tissues for the advancement of education and research”.

Click here for more information


abebooks banner

bookplateink.com

 

 

"Vesalius and the Invention of the Modern Body"

Last week I attended this interdisciplinary symposium hosted by the Saint Louis University and Washington University. This three-day event was inspired by the landmark publication of Andrea Vesalius’s "De humani corporis fabrica, libri septem" (Basel, 1543 and 1555) and the new critical edition and translation of this work, the New Fabrica. Two of the keynote speakers were Daniel Garrison and  Malcolm Hast, authors of the new Fabrica by Karger Publishers. Besides them there were several internationally-renowned speakers, art exhibits, presentation of academic papers of leading research, a public anatomy demonstration, rare books workshops, and a publishers’ exhibit hall.

Because the Fabrica represented a collaborative project involving a scientist (Vesalius), a humanist (Johannes Oporinus, the printer), and an artist (Jan van Kalkar), the goal of the conference was to encourage a network of scholars working in disparate fields to explore the potential for future interdisciplinary research. This objective was clearly attained, as I was able to speak and share with rare books curators, university librarians, artists, anatomist, physicians, poets, historians, etc., all of them brought together by the shared admiration for Andreas Vesalius, his work, his publications, and his legacy.

Vesalius and the Invention of the Modern Body
There were many highlights in this symposium and I will try to cover some of them in a series of articles.  The first one was a presentation by Dr. Stephen N. Joffe, where he described the number of Vesalius' books still in existence in the US and estimates around the world. It was interesting to me that and estimated 600 first edition Fabricas were ever published, and that of those only a fraction exist today, most in university libraries!

Another highlight was the presentation by Pascale Pollier, a Belgian artist, of the Vesalius Continuum project, part of which are the Fabrica Vitae art exhibit that was available to the attendees and the public for the duration of the symposium. Another part of Vesalius Continuum was the meeting in Zakynthos, Greece in 2014. Pascale also presented the process of creation of a bust of Dr. Gunther Von Hagens, the inventor of the system of plastination.

Probably the most rewarding segments of this symposium were the question and answer sessions after each presentation.

MTD Main Page Subscribe to MTD