Wilhelm Fabry (also William Fabry, Guilelmus Fabricius Hildanus, or Fabricius von Hilden) (June 25, 1560 February 15, 1634), often called the “Father of German surgery”, was the first educated and scientific German surgeon. He is one of the most prominent scholars in the iatromechanics school and author of 20 medical books. His Observationum et Curationum Chirurgicarum Centuriae, published posthumously in 1641, is the best collection of case records of the century and gives clear insight into the variety and methods of his surgical practice.Lithotomia Vesicae was first published in in Basel in 1626 and it was quickly translated into Latin by his pupil, Henry Schobingerus who published this from Basel in 1628. John Norton in London was so impressed by the “accurate account of the stone in the bladder, its causes, diagnostic signs and in particular the method of extraction both in men and women” that he translated the text into English in 1640 This Book contains 27chapters that deal with all aspects of urinary calculi. In the first chapter Hildanus references the great authors of antiquity about stones including: Hippocrates, Galen, Avicenna, Celsus,Albucasis, Lanfranco, Guy de Chauliac, Vigo,Vesalius, Fallopius, Fabricius ab Aquapendente and Abroise Paré. He notes that stones were:
“a preternatural, gross, slimy, coagulated humour, broght into a stone of thick matter by a preternatural heat and hidden quality of the bladder .”
He spends some time discussing lithotomy instruments. He states
there “should be plenty of instruments made from the best iron ”Hildanus discusses five methods of lithotomy, the first was the method of Celsus. The second was that of Sanctus using what he called itenerarium, conductor and hamulus. The third was also described by Sanctus and Paré that was similar but used pincers for grasping and extracting the stone. The fourth method was the described by Franco where a suprapubic incision was made down to the ineneraium and a “tent” is left in the wound to suppurate and within a few days the stone will either pass or can be extracted with forceps. The fifth method was also from Franco, the most dangerous, where a suprapubic incision was made into “the inguen above the upper part of the ospubis” and he mentions the dangers of this approach . He also was a proponent of keeping the wounds open to drain with “tents” for
the urinary tract to heal, he would use silver cannulas to drain the urine .
Yale University, School of Medicine.