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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Jean-Annet Bogros

This article is part of the series "A Moment in History" where we honor those who have contributed to the growth of medical knowledge in the areas of anatomy, medicine, surgery, and medical research.

Jean-Annet Bogros (1786 - 1825) French physician, surgeon and anatomist. He was born in Bogros, a village in the mountains d’Auvergne, France.His family wanted him to become a priest, but his inclination towards medicine took him to an apprenticeship in the Hôtel-Dieu de Clermont, a hospital under the tutelage of Drs. Fleury, Lavort, and Bertrand. He continued his studies in Paris where he excelled at anatomy. He soon became an intern in Paris Hospitals, and in 1817 he became an assistant at the Faculty of Medicine. He was praised for his anatomical and surgical skills.

In August 29, 1823 he submitted his thesis for his Doctorate in Medicine “Essai Sur L’Anatomie Chirurgicale de la Region Iliaque: Et Description D’un Nouveau Procédure Pour Faire La Ligature Arteres Epigastrique Et Iliaque Externe”. His thesis challenged and improved the technique of ligation of the epigastric and iliac vessels proposed by Abernathy and Astley Cooper. His teaching rivaled the Astley Cooper technique, with an emphasis on hemostasis that was well recognized at the time.

Today his name is eponymically tied to the subinguinal space of Bogros, a triangular area posterior to the superior pubic ramus, lateral to the space of Retzius. This area is bound anteriorly by the deep preperitoneal fascia, and posteriorly by the peritoneum. The medial boundary of this space is either the lateral wall of the urinary bladder, or a sagittal plane passing at the origin of the inferior (deep) epigastric vessels. The superior boundary is the inguinal ligament, while the inferior and lateral boundaries are not described.

Bogros died in 1825 when he was 39 years of age. His cause of death in unknown, but many postulate tuberculosis.

Unfortunately, he was a good and simple man and was described as being meek and soft-spoken. Because of this, he only left one posthumous publication (1827) “Mémoire sur la Structure des Nerfs” where he explains a novel system to inject and identify nerves. This publication, in French, can be read and downloaded here.

Some biographical articles wrongly show his name as Jean-Antoine Bogros, others change the name to Annet Jean Bogros. Both are not correct. In our research we could not find a portrait of Bogros, so we used the cover or his posthumous memoir on the structure of the nerves.

Sources:

1. “Totally Extraperitoneal Herniorrhaphy (TEP): Lessons Learned from Anatomical Observations” Xue-Lu Zhou; Jian-Hua Luo; Hai Huang, et al. Minimally Invasive Surgery 2021(1):5524986
2. "Crucial steps in the evolution of the preperitoneal approaches to the groin: An historical review" R.C. Read Hernia 2010. 15(1):1-5
3. "Retzius and Bogros Spaces: A Prospective Laparoscopic Study and Current Perspectives" Ansari, MM Annals of International Medical and Dental Research, 2017 Vol (3), Issue (5) 25-31
4. " The Preperitoneal Space in Hernia Repair" Lorenz, A et al. Front Surg (2022) Visceral Surgery Vol 9
5. "Essai Sur L’Anatomie Chirurgicale de la Region Iliaque:: Et Description D’un Nouveau Procede: Pour Faire La Ligature Arteres Epigastrique Et Iliaque Externe” J.A. Bogros Imprimerie de E. Duverger. 1827 Paris