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Pietro Loreta and His Contribution to Surgery in the 19th Century

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Pietro Loreta (1831 to 1889), head of surgery at the University of Bologna, Italy, is at present a little-known name. However, in the field of surgery in the second half of the 19th century, his contributions to various areas, especially that of bladder stone treatment and gastric surgery, aroused great interest also at the international level. This survey focuses on both of these subjects that are particularly indicative of Loreta's activity. While he was trying to improve the operation of perineal cystotomy, which was about to be abandoned, he was faced with the new frontier of gastrointestinal tract surgery. Surgery was in rapid transformation, and the practice of a general surgeon still encompassed the domains of different surgical specialities, which would develop individually afterward. Loreta was a pupil of the outstanding surgeon Francesco Rizzoli and some of his pupils such as Alessandro Codivilla and Bartolo Nigrisoli became heads of surgery. His attitude of caution, that he recommended in his writings, is more remarkable considering his problematic nature and might be the most significant and original trait of Loreta's personality.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgical Pathophysiology, University of Bologna Medical School, Bologna, Italy

Publication date: 01 March 2011

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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