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Medical Terminology Daily (MTD) is a blog sponsored by Clinical Anatomy Associates, Inc. as a service to the medical community, medical students, and the medical industry. We will post a workweek daily medical or surgical term, its meaning and usage, as well as biographical notes on anatomists, surgeons, and researchers through the ages. Be warned that some of the images used depict human anatomical specimens.

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A Moment in History

Antoine Louis
(1723–1792)

French surgeon, anatomist, and physiologist. Following his medical studies and a long career as a physiologist, Antoine Louis was named Permanent Secretary of the Royal French Academy of Surgery. His other titles were those of Professor of the Royal Academy, Consultant Surgeon of the Armies of the King, member of the Royal Society of Sciences of Montpellier, Inspector of the Royal Military Hospitals, and Doctor in Law of the University of Paris. As a member of these academies Louis was instrumental in the design and construction of the guillotine. Initially called the "Louisette", this device was later named after another French physician in the same committee, Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin.

Antoine Louis' name is better know to history as the eponymic origin of the "sternal angle" also know as the "Angle of Louis" and synonymously (probably by misspelling or translation) the "angle of Lewis", and "angle of Ludwig". This anatomical landmark is extremely important as it serves as a superficial landmark for important anatomical occurrences (click here).

As a point of controversy, there are some that contest the history of this eponym adjudicating it to Pierre Charles Alexander Louis (1787-1872), another French physician dedicated to the study of tuberculosis.

Sources:
1. Srickland, N; Strickland A Angle of Louis, More Than Meets the Eye. MedTalks:
2. Ramana, R. K., Sanagala, T. and Lichtenberg, R. (2006), A New Angle on the Angle of Louis. Congestive Heart Failure, 12: 197–199
3
. "The origin of Medical Terms" Skinner, HA; 1970


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Esophageal hiatus hernia surgery

An esophageal hiatus hernia (also known as a hiatal hernia) eventually may require surgery. In this case, the objective is three-fold: To bring the abdominal viscera to its proper intraabdominal position (reduction) , to create a pseudovalve to prevent gastroesophageal reflux, and to prevent a recurrence of the herniation.

There have been different  procedures developed to this effect. One of the most popular has been the Nissen fundoplication either trough the open surgery approach or by way of a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.

Nissen fundoplication (www.en.wikipedia.org)
Original image courtesy of Wikipedia.org.

This procedure was pioneered by Dr. Rudolf Nissen (1896 - 1981) in 1955.  After reducing the hiatal hernia and repairing the dilated esophageal hiatus, the surgeon creates a gastric wrap around the abdominal esophagus by bringing the fundus of the stomach through a retroesophageal passage, and suturing the fundus to the stomach. (see image). One of the concerns of the procedure is the ligation and transection of the short gastric vessels that pass within the gastrosplenic ligament to allow greater mobility of the gastric fundus and prevent potential avulsion of the short gastric vessels.

Since the introduction of this open procedure in 1955 there have been several variations, such as the "Nissen-Rosetti" procedure, a "loose" fundoplication; the "Toupet" procedure, an "incomplete" fundic wrap, and others, including laparoscopic procedures.

The advent of NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) has brought a new procedure: Transoral Incisionless fundoplication (TIF), where a pseudovalve is created using an endoscope inserted into the esophagus and stomach through the oral cavity without abdominal  incisions or trocar ports. For more information on this procedure, click here. Clicking on the inferior image will start a six-minute video of the TIF procedure and the EsophX device.