Ludwik Rydygier

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Ludwik Rydygier (German: Ludwig Anton Rydygier von Ruediger)
Leon Wyczółkowski - Portret dr Ludwika Rydygiera z asystentami.jpg
Ludwik Rydygier with his assistants. Painting by Leon Wyczółkowski
Born21 August 1850
Died25 June 1920 (1920-06-26) (aged 69)
Lwów, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine)
Alma materUniversity of Greifswald
Scientific career
InfluencesJan Mikulicz-Radecki

Ludwik Rydygier (German: Ludwig Anton Rydygier von Ruediger; 21 August 1850 – 25 June 1920) was a German-Polish surgeon and professor of medicine.

The monument of Ludwik Rydygier in Chełmno


Early life and education[edit]

Born in Dossoczyn (today Dusocin) near Graudenz (Grudziądz), at the time part of the Province of Prussia after partitioning of Poland. Since childhood he accented his Polish origin.

Between 1859 and 1861 he was learning in gymnasium in Konitz, then also in gymnasium in Kulm, which he graduated in 1869. In years 1869-1878 he studied medical sciences at the University of Greifswald.

Medical career[edit]

After studies he was running a private clinic in Kulm. There he wrote many of his papers in the field of surgery.

In 1887 he was appointed to work at the surgery faculty at Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In 1897 he was asked to lead the new surgery faculty and clinic at Lwów University, to which he agreed.

He was at his time one of the most distinguished Polish and worldwide known surgeons. In 1880, as the first in Poland and second in the world he succeeded in surgical removal of the pylorus in a patient suffering from stomach cancer. He was also the first to document this procedure. In 1881, as the first in the world, he carried out a peptic ulcer resection. In 1884 he introduced a new method of surgical peptic ulcer treatment using Gastroenterostomy. Rydygier proposed (1900) original concepts for removing prostatic adenoma and introduced many other surgical techniques.

He was dean of the Medical Department and in the years 1901-1902 functioned as rector of Lwów University. He was mentor to many surgeons and future professors. In 1889 he organized the first surgical conference in Poland. These conferences led to the establishment of Polish Surgeon Society. He didn't leave Lwów, even when he was offered to move to Charles University in Prague. He was an outstanding surgeon, well known for his practical achievements, as well as initiator of new methods and a talented organizer. Some of his ideas, which include gastric surgeries, surgery of rectal cancer, amputations, plastic, orthopedic and cardiothoracic surgery and urology are successfully used to date.

Military service[edit]

During the First World War he led military hospital in Brno. After the war he immediately returned to Lwów, where he fought against Ukrainians in November 1918. He was promoted to general of Polish Army. In 1920 he started organizing military hospitals.


He died that year suddenly. At first he was buried at Łyczaków Cemetery, later his remains were moved to the officer part of Cemetery of the Defenders of Lwów.


  • Pach, Radoslaw; Orzel-Nowak Anita; Scully Thecla (2008). "Ludwik Rydygier--contributor to modern surgery". Gastric Cancer. Japan. 11 (4): 187–91. doi:10.1007/s10120-008-0482-7. ISSN 1436-3291. PMID 19132478.
  • Kamionkowski, Marek (2003). "[The life of Ludwik Rydygier in a village of Grabowo]". Archiwum historii i filozofii medycyny / Polskii Towarzystwo Historii Medycyny i Farmacji. Poland. 66 (1): 61–4. ISSN 0860-1844. PMID 14526784.
  • Bednarz, Wiktor; Bednarz Iwona (2002). "[Ludwik Rydygier--homo creator. The 150th anniversary of the birth of Ludwik Rydygier]". Wiad. Lek. Poland. 55 (7–8): 498–502. ISSN 0043-5147. PMID 12428581.
  • Kucharz, E J; Shampo M A; Kyle R A (Dec 1991). "Ludwik Rydygier--famous Polish surgeon". Mayo Clin. Proc. UNITED STATES. 66 (12): 1248. doi:10.1016/s0025-6196(12)62476-8. ISSN 0025-6196. PMID 1749293.
  • Sablinski, T; Tilney N L (Jun 1991). "Ludwik Rydygier and the first gastrectomy for peptic ulcer". Surgery, gynecology & obstetrics. UNITED STATES. 172 (6): 493–6. ISSN 0039-6087. PMID 2035143.
  • Kucharz, E J (Sep 1979). "Ludwik Rydygier (1850--1920)". Investigative urology. UNITED STATES. 17 (2): 166. ISSN 0021-0005. PMID 381247.

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