Publisher Information: Paris: 1754.
Louis, Antoine (1723-92). Autograph draft (probably incomplete) of a letter to Pierre Jean Georges Cabanis (1757-1808). 4pp. N.p., May 18, 1754. 260 x 186 mm. Creased where previously folded, some browning, tiny hole in first leaf not affecting text, otherwise very good. English translation included.
From the pioneer French medical jurisprudence authority (see G-M 1730-31) to a medical colleague, discussing the type and size of cutting instrument appropriate for removal of a cancerous tumor in the breast. Cabanis had been involved in a dispute over whether a smaller instrument, such as a lancet, was preferable to the razor recommended by several authorities for such an operation. The Royal Academy of Surgery had asked Louis to give his opinion on this matter, which he did in the present draft. Louis took Cabanis's side in preferring the smaller instrument, citing the writings of Delahaye, Garangeot and Fayet to back his judgment, while noting the opposing opinions of LeDran and Dionis.
"When one tries to understand the reasons and the different procedures expounded in the different methods of operating, one sees that the razor and the large knife are recommended only for cutting off the breast with one blow. . . .And if you have the memoirs of the Royal Academy of Surgery, vol. 1, page 681 in the quarto edition, you will read a memoir of M. Fayet of a tumor of the breast, you will see that one must have one's fingers in the incision made and the circumference of the tumor in order to judge the depth, the hardness and the way it is attached, in order to detach the tumor more easily. Since the removal of a cancer is a dissection, where each step is based on what one must do after it and it is the only was to precisely remove the whole body of the tumor, then how can one do this dissection with a large knife which will only serve to cut out, if I dare to speak this way, the cancer with one cut."Book Id: 32304