dimanche 19 juin 2011

France: From the anal fistula of Louis XIV to modern surgery!

The abscess ashamed of King Sun!

         On January 15, 1686, King Louis XIV, who was 47 years began to feel pain due to early signs of swelling in the perineum. January 31, 1686, he convened an emergency physician usually Henri Louis Daquin (1602-1673), former physician of Queen Marie de Medicis (1575-1642).           
He is suffering from an abscess in the "foundation" is to say, anal abscess (in ordinary language), developed (thinks it), especially by dint of riding.
         Doctors at the time believed that these fistulas of the anus are caused also by the feathers of carriages, the abuse of stew or ultramontane debauchery. They make no allusion to the characteristic lack of hygiene at the time of Louis XIV.
         Indeed, King Louis XIV was a dirty toilet and summary. Medicine claimed bathroom while facilitating the entry of microbes in the body.
         He splashed the many scents to cover up his body odor. He continually gave off an odor that was difficult to bear for his entourage. He knew it well and when he entered a room, he opened the windows so as not to disturb his courtiers.
         After examining, the doctor decides to treat him with blows of enemas, which submits the king "without too much complaining." It requires such a poultice made with flour based Arobas, beans, rye, barley, flaxseed, all boiled in oxycrat (mixture of water and vinegar) to renew four times a day.
         But the abscess continues to ignite, despite the application of compresses and ointment and the king's grief is getting worse until walking became impossible.

A great barber-surgeon and "The Royal anus"

         The king appealed to the barber Charles-François Félix (1635-1703) to perform a circumcision.
         The latter pointed out to the royal physicians registrants need serious surgery, but the latter, unwilling to submit to the advice of a little servant, strove to apply their traditional medical methods: application of ointments, ointments, poultices, dressings tow punctuated by bloodletting.
         Exhausted by bleeding cuts and follies, the Sun King accepts the proposal of his barber, provided it is carried first on the peasants. Fistulas rarely fails to Versailles and Paris because of the deplorable sanitary conditions and the royal court of France at the time.
         Some tracts requisitioned in hospices de Paris died during the experimental operation. They took care to bury the very early! This experience allowed the barber to develop the scalpel and curved retractor that suited the royal post.

"My God, I place myself in your hands!"

         November 18, 1686 to seven in the morning, the barber-surgeon operates the king without anesthesia, of course, in the presence of Madame de Maintenon, born Françoise d'Aubigné (1635-1719) and François d'Aix, seigneur de La Chaise (1624-1709), confessor of the King, the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV, François-Michel Le Tellier, marquis de Louvois (1641-1691), Minister of State who had encouraged Charles Francois Felix, literally terrorized, to perform this operation highly risky and his doctor, Henry Louis Daquin. It was necessary that this operation is a state secret!
         Before the operation, the king prayed aloud: "My God, I place myself in your hands"
... and stoically endured the painful operation.
         A month later he was again sitting up in bed and three months later to mount again. The operation was a success. It caused a sensation and had a tremendous impact in Versailles and France.
"Over thirty courtiers, and not least, claimed that they did, also in the same operation"
which was now named "The Royal".

  About "Barberie" to the teaching of surgery!

         As a reward, the king covered Charles-François Félix de Tassy money and gifts. He received including "The Land of Moulineaux." Knighted, he bought the lordship of Tassy and now became Charles-François Félix de Tassy.
         But the barber demanded another of something more clever: he asked the king holding a specific teaching of surgery "to separate permanently Barberie of surgery."
         SM Louis XIV agreed to the proposal. With the subsequent royal, Charles-François Felix had just imposed specialization in surgery against the advice of doctors at the time.
On December 18, 1731, under Louis XV, was inaugurated the Royal Academy of Surgery, now known as the National Academy of Surgery.
         Born in Avignon around 1635, Charles-François Félix de Tassy now become the surgeon of Louis XIV until his death in 1703. But traumatized by the experience, he never does the surgery. He trembled every time he touched his scalpel. His son in this occupation with the Sun King!
Born September 5, 1638, Louis XIV died of senile gangrene in the leg May 14, 1715, 72 years after he succeeded his father on the throne of France.

Suggested reading:

Ces histoires insolites qui ont fait la médecine (These unusual stories that made the medicine), Plon, Paris, 2011.

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