Sunday December 6, 2020 Smile of the Day: The First Appendectomy

On this Day:

The first recorded successful appendectomy was performed on this day in 1735, at St. George’s Hospital in London, when French surgeon Claudius Amyand described the presence of a perforated appendix within the inguinal hernial sac of an 11-year-old boy. The organ had apparently been perforated by a pin the boy had swallowed. The patient, Hanvil Andersen, made a recovery and was discharged a month later.

Harry Hancock performed the first abdominal surgery for appendicitis in 1848, but he did not remove the appendix. In 1889 in New York City, Charles McBurney described the presentation and pathogenesis of appendicitis accurately and developed the teaching that an early appendectomy was the best treatment to avoid perforation and peritonitis.

Some cases of autoappendectomies have occurred. One was attempted by Evan O’Neill Kane in 1921, but the operation was completed by his assistants. Another was Leonid Rogozov, who had to perform the operation on himself as he was the only doctor on a remote Antarctic base [Ed:  can you imagine taking out your own appendix???] (per Wikipedia).

First, a Story:

Paige finishes writing her biology dissertation and hands it in to the lecturer the following day.

He quickly flicks through it and realizes something is missing. “Where’s your appendix page?”

“Easy”, she says, and points to her lower abdomen.

Second, a Song:

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines …”  And so begins one of the most delightful children stories ever written.  

Madeline is a media franchise that originated as a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans, an Austrian-American author.

The books have been adapted into numerous formats, spawning telefilms, television series and a live action feature film. The adaptations are famous for the closing line, a famous phrase Ethel Barrymore used to rebuff curtain calls, “That’s all there is, there isn’t any more.” The stories take place in a Catholic boarding school in Paris. The teacher, Miss Clavel, is strict but loves the children, cares for them, and is open to their ideas.

The books focus on 12 girls in a Catholic boarding school in Paris. Madeline is the smallest of the girls, only seven years old and the only girl with red hair. She is the bravest and most outgoing of the girls. The images seem classical and show scenery and landmarks of the location where the story takes place such as the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River (per Wikipedia).

In the first book, Madeline gets sick, is taken to the hospital and has her appendix removed to the envy of all the other girls.  She comes back and sings “Ouila my scar” to them.  

Here is Madeline singing “Ouila My Scar”. I hope you enjoy this!


Thought for the Day:

“I was going to have cosmetic surgery until I noticed that the doctor’s office was full of portraits by Picasso.” – Rita Rudner


Have a great day!

Dave & Colleen

© 2020 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky

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