PTU - Polskie Towarzystwo Urologiczne
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CODE: 19 - Ludwik Rydygier (1850-1920) - his contribution to surgery and his credit for urology
Article published in Urologia Polska 2006/59/Suplement 1.


Tadeusz Zajaczkowski, Elżbieta Wojewska-Zajączkowska
Department of Urology and Neurourology Essen-North, Marien Hospital, Teaching Hospital of the University Duisburg-Essen, Niemcy


Introduction and objectives. Eighty six years ago on 25th June 1920 died Ludwik Rydygier, one of the best surgeon at the turn of the 19th century. He was the first in the Poland and the second surgeon in the world to resect the stomach for cancer in 1880, and he performed the first gastric resection for a benign condition on November 1881. He introduced the technique of resection better known as a Billroth I procedure.
Results. Ludwig Rydygier was born in Dussoczyn (West Prussia) on August 21 1850. He graduated from high school in Chelmno (Culm) in 1869. He studied in Greifswald, Berlin, Strassbourg and graduated in Greifswald in 1874. After this he became an surgical assistant of Professor Hüter in Greifswald and later on the first assistant of Professor Luecke. He obtained the degree of Doctor Habilitatus (Privatdozent) in 1879 in Jena. In 1880 he opened a private Surgical Clinic in Culm. Rydygier´s most productive and creative period of activity took place during his stay at Culm. In Culm Rydygier performed many, at that time unique and new gastric operations. In his time, so many and so outstanding publications emerged from his clinic as never before and later. His work and publications led to advancement of his scientific and academic career. Rydygier succeeded Johann von Mikulicz-Radecki in Krakow in 1887. He was a great continuator of ideas of the Mikulicz and his Krakow school of surgery. During his stay in that town he erected a new clinic of surgery, fitted with the latest modern equipment. He initiated and organized in his clinic the First Congress of Polish Surgeons in 1889. The Faculty of Medicine was founded at the University of Lemberg in 1897, and Rydygier was awarded the chair of Surgery.
Conclusion. Professor Rydygier was universal general surgeon and excellent operator. He took particular interest in gastroenterology, anaesthesiology, thorax surgery, gynaecology and urology. He introduced X-ray, cystoscopy and ureter intubation as routine diagnostic methods in his clinics. Ludwik Rydygier devoted himself also to urological surgery. He performed plastic reconstruction in case of ureter stricture or ureter defect. He removed bladder stones and bladder tumours transperitonealy and recommended to resect the prostate transperitonealy. He operated on in patients suffering from extrophy of the bladder and performed closure of the vesico-vaginal fistulae successfully in many cases.