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Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie Velpeau

  Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie Velpeau (May 18, 1795 - August 24, 1867) was a French anatomist and surgeon who was born in a village near Tours. He was a student and assistant to Pierre Bretonneau (1778-1862). During his early medical career he was a surgeon in several hospitals in Paris. In 1833 Velpeau succeeded Alexis de Boyer (1757-1833) as chair of clinical surgery at the University of Paris, a position he maintained until his death in 1867. Ramón Emeterio Betances --Puerto Rican pro-independence leader, surgeon and Légion d'honneur laureate-- was one of Velpeau's prominent students. [1]

Additional recommended knowledge

Velpeau was a skilled surgeon and renowned for his knowledge of surgical anatomy, and he published over 340 titles on surgery, embryology, anatomy, obstetrics, et al. In 1830 he published an important book on obstetrics, titled Traité elementaire de l’art des accouchements. Also, in 1827 Velpeau was the first physician to describe acute myeloid leukemia.

The eponymous Velpeau bandage that is used for arm support is named after him. There are several other eponyms regarding Velpeau. However, they are now primarily used for historical purposes only; these include: Velpeau hernia for the femoral hernia, Velpeau's disease for hidradenitis suppurativa, Velpeau's canal for the inguinal canal and Velpeau's fossa which is the ischiorectal fossa.

Despite being one of the top surgeons in his time, Velpeau believed that pain-free surgery was a fantasy, and that surgery and pain were inseparable. With the advent of anaesthetics such as ether and chloroform in the 1840's, Velpeau was amazed, saying "On the subject of ether, that it is a wonderful and terrible agent, I will say of chloroform, that it is still more wonderful and more terrible"


  • Alfred Velpeau and Obstetrics
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie_Velpeau". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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