Irving L. Lichtenstein

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Irving Lester Lichtenstein (born  February 21, 1920 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , †  June 11, 2000 in Marina del Rey , California ) was an American surgeon . He developed a surgical technique named after him that fundamentally improved the treatment of hernias , and for this reason is considered a pioneer in hernia surgery.


Irving Lichtenstein was born in Philadelphia in 1920 and studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann Medical College , a forerunner to the medical school of Drexel University . He later worked at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and as a lecturer at the medical faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). From the end of the 1950s he developed a new surgical method for the treatment of hernias based on observations and experimental investigations into the resilience of surgical sutures and wound healing . The basis was to avoid contraction of the tissue to be sutured and to use local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia .

During a meeting of the American Medical Association in San Francisco in 1964 , he presented his method to the professional world for the first time. Subsequent developments in technology included the development of simplified suturing techniques and the use of plastic-based nets to prevent the hernia from recurring. Lichtenstein's hernia treatment, in addition to the Shouldice inguinal hernia operation developed by Edward Earle Shouldice , became widespread worldwide from the late 1980s and is considered the gold standard in the United States due to its low complication rate , high patient comfort and low cost . It can be done on an outpatient basis and, compared to other techniques, leads to significantly shorter rehabilitation and incapacity phases .

Irving Lichtenstein later set up his own practice in Beverly Hills . In addition to his medical work, he was an active member of the American Civil Liberties Union for many years . He was married twice and has four daughters. At the age of 80 he died in Marina del Rey in 2000 as a result of a long-standing illness of Parkinson's disease . The Lichtenstein Amid Hernia Clinic , which he founded in 1984 as the Lichtenstein Hernia Institute , has been part of UCLA since 2007 and named after him, in addition to the surgical technique he developed for hernia treatment, which is known as Lichtenstein surgery in German-speaking countries received its current name in 2011.

Works (selection)

  • Local Anesthesia for Hernioplasty: Immediate Ambulation and Return to Work - A Preliminary Report. In: California Medicine. 100/1964, pp. 106-109
  • Hernia Repair Without Disability: A Surgical Atlas Illustrating the Anatomy, Technique, and Physiologic Rationale of the "One-Day" Hernia. Saint Louis 1970, 1986
  • Herniorrhaphy. A Personal Experience With 6,321 Cases. In: The American Journal of Surgery . 153/1987, pp. 553-559