Traite des Operationes de Chirurgie (1769)

Traite des Operationes de Chirurgie (1769)


Traite des Operationes de Chirurgie (1769)



Ambroise Bertrandi (1723-1765)

Bertrandi was a surgeon to the King of Sardinia and a professor of anatomy and surgery at the University of Turin.

In the introduction to the volume, there is a eulogy to the author. Ambroise Bertrand was born in Turin on October 18, 1723, the eldest of six children of Joseph Bertrandi, phlebotomist surgeon, and Victoire-Marie Serra. His studies at a very young age started in Turin. Young Bertrandi studied Greek and Latin and the scholarly interpretation of classic authors, philosophy, experimental physics, and mathematics. His parents wished him to pursue theology, but Ambroise, thanks to a family friend, Mr. Klinger, a professor of surgery - pursued medicine. Anatomy became a passion for him, both in animals and humans. He read everything that the ancients and the moderns have written, and comparative anatomy presented him with parallels to humans. A chameleon died in the menagerie of the king of Sardinia, allowing him to make known his talent to dissect. He carried out the dissection of this animal in the presence and satisfaction of H.R.H., the Duke of Savoy, earning his support.

After five years of study at the provincial college, Mr. Bertrandi obtained the rank of master's in surgery. In 1748, he completed two dissertations, one on the liver and the other on the eye. On March 27, 1749, Mr. Bertrandi was inducted into the Royal College of Surgeons of Turin. In 1752, with Royal support, he continued his studies in Paris and London for the next three years by attending large hospitals like the Royal Hotel des Invalides. He mainly cultivated famous royal physicians and surgeons of the time like Buffon, Mayran, Winslow, and de Heaumur of the Royal Academy of Sciences, and Verdier, professor and demons-royal tractor of anatomy to the schools of surgery. 

In 1755, he was back in Turin; after three years of absence, M. Bertrandi directed anatomical dissections. He was named Professor of Surgical Practice in 1758, although his colleagues were envious of his success. However, students were pleasantly surprised by his lecturing style and knowledge. Soon, he became a member of the Royal Society of London. Mr. Bertrandi was a Royal surgeon and obtained from the king the appointment of the chief surgeon of the St. Jean hospital. He performed part of his work free of charge, caring for half of the patients. He became the oracle of surgery. His reputation did not limit itself to the city of Turin; everyone consulted it in the provinces. In 1763, the original A Study of Surgical Operations was published in Italian and translated from the original Italian by Dr. Sollier de la Romillais, physician in Rheims and member of the Faculty of Medicine of Paris.

In February 1765, he noticed the first symptoms of dropsy by edematous swelling of the lower extremities (heart failure). The various remedies initially produced some excellent effects, especially by controlling the flow of urine (diuretics). In September, he had twenty-four pounds of ascites fluid removed from the lower abdomen by paracentesis. He died on December 6, at the age of 42, due to complications of heart failure. He lived single and had no passion other than that of the study. He was upright, honest, generous, and selfless. 

This volume reflects the state of the art in surgery in the middle of the 19th century. It was purchased from Barter Books Ltd. Alnwick, North, United Kingdom; the copy is an Ex-Royal College of Surgeons Ireland Library Copy. The boards and spine are detached.

Editorial notes by Andrew I Spielman .

Digital Version