The basis of what I do

“It is the surgeon’s duty to tranquillise the temper, to begat cheerfulness and impart confidence of recovery…”

Sir Astley Cooper

Historians often reflect on the age when a well read scholar could know the key elements of all the academic disciplines. In the case of surgery, that person may well be Sir Astley Cooper. Head of surgery at Guys Hospital London from 1800 to 1842, Cooper’s interests are described as otology, vascular surgery, mammary glands, testicles, and herniae of the groin. In general surgery, Cooper’s fascia covering the spermatic cord and Cooper’s ligament near the pubic bone are key to groin operations. Sir Astley also laid the ground work for modern breast surgery. Here Cooper described and gave his name to the fibrous bundles that act suspensory ligaments of the breast. Breast cancers invading these ligaments produce the areas of skin tethering that are a key part of clinical breast examination. Cooper’s disease of the breast was the first account of benign cystic change and and Cooper’s neuralgia is chronic non malignant breast pain. Sir Astley was really the first surgeon to address breast maladies that were not cancer. His ideas are still relevant to my practice in 2022. #thefirstbreastsurgeon #letsmakelemonade

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