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.

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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


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Prevention of Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation - Elimination of the Left Atrial Appendage


If you arrived to this website looking for information on Atrial Fibrillation, you will find some here and in this article.



Prevention of Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation;
Elimination of the Left Atrial Appendage.
An online educational video.

Randall, K. Wolf MD, FACS, FACC


This video educational program is hosted by the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center Education Center

Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is estimated to affect up to 4% of the population. Characterized by a rapid, irregular heartbeat, AFib is largely due to abnormal electrical impulses that cause the atria of the heart to quiver instead of beating steadily. Blood flow is reduced and is not completely pumped out of the two small upper chambers of the heart, the atria. This negatively impacts cardiac performance and also allows the blood to pool and potentially clot, especially in an extension of the left atrium, the left atrial appendage (LAA). At rest, a normal heart rate is approximately 60 – 100 beats per minute. In a person with AFib, that heart rate can increase to 180 bpm or even higher.

The main concern with AFib and stagnant blood flow in the LAA is the potential for clot formation (thrombus). While this can happen in either atria (right or left) the anatomy of the right atrium and right atrial appendage are less conducive to clot formation. The LAA is exactly the opposite and the clots, should they float into the bloodstream, tend to enter the larger arteries that go towards the head and brain, increasing the chances for a stroke.

In this educational video Dr. Wolf discusses the above, as well as the benefits of the elimination of the LAA, decreasing blood pressure, decreasing the chances of a stroke, and helping return the heart to normal rhythm.

Dr. Wolf is a surgical innovator who since the year 2000 has been a pioneer in the minimally invasive surgical treatment of AFib. He has performed over 2000 Wolf MiniMaze procedures since the first one in 2003 and has demonstrated the procedure to over 800 heart surgeons worldwide. He has been visiting professor in 18 countries, including Oxford University, University of Tokyo and Peking University. Dr. Wolf has delivered hundreds of invited lectures at hospitals, academic meetings and seminars in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Wolf is currently a member of the DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. He serves as the arrhythmia specialist of the group. In 2018 Dr. Wolf operated on AF patients from 32 US states. He was also the keynote speaker at the annual Japanese Society for Tobacco Control in Takamatsu, Japan and the annual Chinese Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons in Shenyang, China.

NOTE: Dr. Randall Wolf is a contributor to Clinical Anatomy Associates. My personal thanks to him and to the DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center for their invitation to participate in this and other educational videos. Dr. Miranda.