Historical Background


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De humani corporis fabrica - Andrea Vesalius
Venous disease known since ancient times, as evidenced by images of Greek vases with compression bandages.

Even in earlier times, in the Ebers Papyrus (1550 BC) describes therapeutic techniques. The table shows a varicose vein Esclepion.

But the anatomy and physiology of blood circulation was little known and misunderstood for a long time.

Table Esclepión or Asclepius
De humani corporis fabrica – Andrea Vesalius
Claudio GalenoClaudio Galeno

Galen and Hippocrates believed that the arteries (air bearing) were the only vessels that were born of the heart and veins that originate in the liver.

 In the early seventeenth century, in 1603, in “From venarum ostiolis” Aquapendente Fabricius describes accurately the valve apparatus veins, but not correct in describing its function.

It also appears that Canano Baptista had already made a similar description (1541).

 These studies were the basis for the subsequent description of the organization of the cardiovascular system, made by his pupil William Harvey. In 1661, Malpighi discovers capillary circulation, completing anatomical representation of the circulatory system.

Knowledge of physiology run parallel to the anatomical knowledge. Galen’s theories dominated medical thinking until the Renaissance.

It was from the discovery of Harvey when he started experimental research, taking its first results in the eighteenth century, when Petit develops his studies on hemostasis, Haller on return mechanisms and Valsalva heart and circulatory dynamics Spallanzani on.

The statement of the fundamental laws of hemodynamics is due mainly to Hagen and Poiseuille (1839 and 1841, respectively).

The venous pathology studies developed in a rather slow. Over the centuries various theories down to try to explain the etiology of both varicose veins as varicose ulcers, some more outlandish than others. In this respect it should be mentioned authors like Ambrose Pare (1579), Fernel (1604), Barbette (1675) …

The term is due to varicose ulcer Wiseman (1676).

From the fourteenth to the seventeenth multiple attempts succeed therap éuticos on varicose ulcers, especially with compressive measurements, also attributed therapeutic effects to various substances: wine, ointments …

The surgical treatment of varicose disease emerged in the late nineteenth century. Trendelenburg (1880) performed multiple ligatures.

The first stripper is attributed to Keller (1905).

In May 1906 makes its own stripper provided with a small ring at one of its ends.

Babcock (1907) incorporated olive long metal tubes provided at their ends.

A significant event in the history of Phlebology is the first use in 1923 of contrast media for visualization of the venous system.

Andrea Vesalius
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