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World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1318–1324 | Cite as

An Early Observation on the Anatomy of the Inguinal Canal and the Etiology of Inguinal Hernias by Petrus Camper in the 18th Century

  • Frank F. A. IJpmaEmail author
  • Robert C. van de Graaf
  • Dick van Geldere
  • Thomas M. van Gulik
Article

Abstract

The famous Dutch medical doctor Petrus Camper (1722–1789) was appointed professor of anatomy and surgery at the University of Franeker, Amsterdam, and Groningen. As Praelector Anatomiae of the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, he gave public anatomy lessons in the Anatomy theatre in Amsterdam. During the mid 18th century he performed dissections on corpses of children and adults to investigate the anatomy and etiology of inguinal hernias. The concept that a hernia was caused by “a rupture of the peritoneum” was common at that time. Camper concluded that this was incorrect and provided a clear description of the etiology of hernias in children and adults. For the treatment of inguinal hernias, he designed a truss based on the geometrical proportions of the pelvis. This “truss of Camper” was much used and internationally renowned. His anatomical studies and perfect, self-drawn illustrations contributed to a better understanding of the anatomy of the inguinal canal, on the national as well as international level. Camper’s “Icones Herniarum” is his most widely known work on inguinal hernias and included a series of outstanding anatomical illustrations. Petrus Camper should be considered one of the pioneers in the field of inguinal hernias.

Keywords

Inguinal Hernia Femoral Hernia Inguinal Canal Anatomical Dissection Indirect Inguinal Hernia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank F. A. IJpma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert C. van de Graaf
    • 2
  • Dick van Geldere
    • 1
  • Thomas M. van Gulik
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryIsala kliniekenZwolleThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Carl Ferdinand Von Graefe InstituteGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryAcademic Medical Center/University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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