Andrea Vaccà Berlinghieri

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Andrea Vaccà Berlinghieri (3 February 1772 – 6 September 1826) was an Italian surgeon born in Montefoscoli, a village in the municipality of Palaia. His older brother Leopoldo Vaccà Berlinghieri (1768–1809) was a noted Tuscan military figure.

In 1787 he traveled to Paris with his brother in order to study medicine. Here he was pupil to surgeon Pierre-Joseph Desault (1744–1795) and obstetrician Jean-Louis Baudelocque (1745–1810). Two years later he visited London, being interested in the surgical work of John Hunter (1728–1793). Following his return to Italy, he received his degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Pisa.

In 1799 he revisted Paris, where he furthered his studies with Baudelocque, Philippe-Jean Pelletan (1747–1829), Alexis de Boyer (1757–1833), and Antoine Dubois (1756–1837). After his return to Pisa, he became a professor of surgery, an event that is considered to be the start of a new surgical tradition at Pisa. His reputation as a surgeon attracted patients from all over Europe and the Orient to Pisa. Berlinghieri was a close friend of anatomist Paolo Mascagni (1752–1815).

Berlinghieri was the first surgeon in Italy to perform Hunter's procedure for aneurysms of the popliteal fossa.

The famous Gothic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is based on a true story and is inspired by the Italian doctor Andrea Vaccà Berlinghieri.

Selected written works[edit]

  • Reflessioni sul trattato di chirurgia del Sig. Begnamino Bell. two volumes. Pisa, 1793) (Referring to Edinburgh surgeon Benjamin Bell (1749–1806).
  • Traité des maladies vénériennes (Paris 1800). This text was later revised by Pierre-Philippe Alyon (1758–1816).
  • Mémoire sur la structure du péritoine et ses rapports avec les viscères abdominaux. (Mémoires de la Société médicale d’émulation de Paris, 1800, T. III. paper presented at this society).
  • Storia dell' anevrisma etc. Pisa, 1803. (with John Hunter's procedure for aneurysm of the popliteal fossa).
  • Memoria sopra il metodo di estarre la pietra della vesica orinaria per la via dell' intestine retto. Pisa, 1821. French translation by Blaquière, Paris, 1821. (Advocating the recto-vesical cut for stones).
  • Sulla litotomia nei due sessi, Quarta memoria. Pisa, 1825. French translation by Morin, Genèva, 1826. (Describing the median cut for women, Berlinghieri advocated the vesico-vaginal cut).[1]


  1. ^ [1] Who Named It Andrea Vaccà Berlinghieri, bibliography