, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 187-191
Date: 08 Jan 2009

Ludwik Rydygier — contributor to modern surgery

Abstract

Modern surgery is usually considered to have begun in nineteenth century Europe. One of the most famous contributors to gastric cancer surgery was the Polish surgeon Ludwik Rydygier, born in 1850. He initiated new methods in several fields, such as gastrointestinal surgery, orthopedics, gynecology, and urology. He was the second surgeon in the world to perform an antral resection, which he carried out on November 16, 1880. The patient, a 64-year-old man, suffered from pyloric cancer and died 12 hours after the procedure as a result of postoperative shock. The next pyloric resection was performed by Billroth in Vienna in 1881. In the nineteenth century few gastric resections were performed for peptic ulcer. The first successful antral resection for gastric ulcer penetrating to the pancreas was also performed by Ludwik Rydygier, in 1881. For many years Rydygier advocated resection in the treatment of gastric ulcers, although it was considered too dangerous for benign disease. He eventually proposed four indications for gastric resection: antral cancer, gastric ulcer, perforated gastric ulcer, and bleeding ulcers. Another operation performed for the first time by Ludwik Rydygier was gastroenterostomy, in a patient with a duodenal ulcer. In the following years other types of partial gastric resection and total gastrectomy were introduced. In 1992 the Ludwik Rydygier Association was founded in Krakow to commemorate the achievements of and pay tribute to this great surgeon. The Eighth International Gastric Cancer Congress will take place in 2009 in Krakow, where Ludwik Rydygier built a new surgical clinic in 1889.

An erratum to this article can be found online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10120-009-0500-4