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Moments in Surgical History |

Alessandro Codivilla and the First Pancreatoduodenectomy

Thomas Schnelldorfer, MD; Michael G. Sarr, MD
Arch Surg. 2009;144(12):1179-1184. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2009.219.
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In the field of pancreatic surgery, probably no operation has engendered more historic debate than the origin of the pancreatoduodenectomy, with the misleading and arguably inappropriate eponyms of the “Whipple” or the “Kausch-Whipple” procedure. The question of who performed the first pancreatoduodenectomy remains an intriguing one that has been debated from a nationalistic approach as well as a historic one, but data confirming these fervent arguments have often been missing; thus, we felt the need for clarification of the unrecorded but true story of the first pancreatoduodenectomy.

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Figures

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Figure 1.

Alessandro Codivilla (1861-1912). Courtesy of Archivio Storico, Universita di Bologna, Bologna, Italy. Reprinted with permission from Wolters Kluwer Health.3

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Figure 2.

Ospedale Civile di Imola in 1902. Courtesy of Biblioteca comunale di Imola, Imola, Italy.

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Figure 3.

A, The statistical report of the Ospedale d’Imola of 1898, which was long believed to be lost.2 Courtesy of Biblioteca comunale di Imola, Imola, Italy. B, Codivilla's clinic note found 50 years later in the library of the Rizzoli Institute in Bologna, Italy. Reprinted with permission from Wolters Kluwer Health.3

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Figure 4.

In the courtyard of the hospital in Imola, Italy, in 1895/1896, from left: Orso Orsini (chief of medicine), Luigi Sassi (hospital president), Alessandro Codivilla (chief of surgery), and Illide Cavallari (surgical assistant). Reprinted with permission of Springer Science and Business Media.5

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