- A dictionary of medical eponyms

André Levret

Born  1703
Died  1780

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French obstetrician, born 1703, Paris; died 1780, Paris.

Biography of André Levret

André Levret was the most famous of 18th century French obstetricians. After completing his studies in surgery he devoted himself entirely to obstetrics. He became a close friend of the famous surgeon Antoine Louis (1723-1792) and, following the death of Jard, became accoucheur de la cour. In this capacity delivered the mother of the future Louis XVI of the dauphine.

Levret is particularly remembered for his important improvements of the birth forceps, as well as the breech manoeuvre and the caesarean section.

Levret attracted pupils from all over Europe, among them Georg Wilhelm Stein (1731-1893), Lukas Johann Boër (1751-1835), and Johann Friedrich Osiander (1787-1855).

Levret's somewhat exaggerated love of operating caused him to undertake many unnecessary operations. To him the future of obstetrics laid in the perfection of the operations.

He became a member of the Académie royale de chirurgie on January 22, 1780.


  • Observations sur les causes et les accidents de plusieurs accouchements laborieux.
    4th edition, Paris, C. Osmont, 1747-1770.
    Translated into German.
  • Observations sur la cure radicale de plusieurs polypes de la matrice, de la gorge, et du nez. 1749. 3rd edition, revised and expanded, Paris, 1771.
  • Suite des observations sue les causes etc. Paris, 1751.
  • Explication de plusieurs figures se le mécanisme de la grossesse et de l’accouchement. 1752.
  • L’art des accouchements etc.
    Paris, Delaguette, 1753; 1761; 1766. Translated into German.
  • Essai sur l’abuse des règles générales etc. 1766.
  • Traité des accouchements laborieux. 1770.
  • Observations sur l’allaitements des enfants. 1781.
We thank Rudolf Kleinert, Bad Reichenhall, Germany, for information submitted.

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