World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 938–945 | Cite as

Richard Lower, M.D., Physician and Surgeon (1631–1691)

Surgical History

Abstract

Richard Lower (1631–1691) was a follower of William Harvey and conducted extensive studies of the physiology of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. He employed surgery as a key component of his experimental work. He described and employed cardiac massage and maintained arterial oxygenation through positive-pressure respiration. Making good use of these procedures, he established the role of the lungs in the “admixture of air” to the blood. Lower performed exchange transfusion in dogs and transfused the blood of a sheep into a human. He recognized the role of blood transfusion in replacing blood lost from hemorrhage or other causes. In his work on exchange transfusion, he employed extracorporeal vascular conduits, including arterial heterografts. Through surgical experiments he established that all mesenteric lymph passes through the thoracic duct to the subclavian vein. He performed a variety of procedures through an open thorax, closed the thoracotomy, and observed the animals over a period of days. Lower has not received the recognition he deserves as a pioneer surgical investigator.

References

  1. 1.
    Willis T. Cerebri Anatome: Cui Accessit Descriptio et Usis, London, 1664Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lower R. A Treatise on the Heart on the Movement and Colour of The Blood and on the Passage of the Chyle into the Blood, London, 1669, pp. 1–219Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fulton, JF 1935A bibliography of two Oxford physiologists: Richard Lower (1631–1691) and John Mayow (1643–1679)Proc. Papers Oxford Bibliogr. Soc.4162Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Franklin, KJ 1932The work of Richard Lower (1631–1691)Proc. R. Soc. Med.25113118Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hoff, EC, Hoff, PM 1936The life and times of Richard Lower, physiologist and physician (1631–1691)Bull. Inst. Hist. Med.4517535Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lower R. Diatribae Thomae Willisii Doct. Med & Prfess. Oxon de febribus Vindicatio adversus Edmundum De Meare, London, 1665Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lower R. De Origine Catarrhi, London, 1672Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Donovan, AJ, Child, MA, Masto, AS 1972The effect hepatic venous occlusion rate flow bileSurg. Gynecol. Obstet.1348993PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pepys S. (Wheatley HB, editor). Diary, vols. 1–8, London, 1908Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rutkow, IM 1993Surgery, An Illustrated HistoryMosby-Year BookSt. Louis198Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations