Monday, July 9, 2018

Fistula - A brief history

The barber and the surgeon

During 17th century lived King Louis XIV. In the year 1685, he developed a swelling in his bum which became an abscess and finally a fistula.

The king was rumoured to have bathed only twice in his lifetime because water was supposed to cause infections! In desperation, the services of the barber- surgeon were sought.

Barber surgeons were barbers who performed minor operations. Charles- Francois Felix, who was the barber surgeon, prepared for 6 months and developed tools for his tryst with glory or despair.

He operated on the king in November 1686 and the operation was a success. The surgeon became famous and also prosperous. The courage of both the king and the barber gave a new respectability to surgeons and eventually led to the establishment of the royal academy of surgery.  

( An anal fistula is an abnormal communication between the anal canal and the skin. It occurs due to infection of anal glands.)

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