He was the son of an Army physician, also named Ulysse Trélat (1795–1879). He received his education from his father, from Philippe-Frédéric Blandin, Auguste Nélaton and Philibert Joseph Roux. He graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1854, became prosector in 1855 and agrégé in 1857. He became surgeon in 1860, chief of surgery at Paris Maternité in 1864 and professor of clinical surgery at the Hôpital Necker.
With military physician Anacharsis Baizeau (1821–1910), the eponymous "Baizeau and Trélat's method" is named, which is a surgical procedure for repair of a clefted soft palate. With surgeon Pierre Delbet (1861–1925), he published Clinique chirurgicale (1891).
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