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Ignacio Barraquer Barraquer

Born  1884
Died  1965

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Spanish ophthalmologist, born March 25, 1884, Barcelona; died May 13, 1965, Barcelona.

Biography of Ignacio Barraquer Barraquer

Ignacio Barraquer Barraquer was the son of Jose Antonio Barraquer Roviralta (1852-1924), who was the brother of Luis Barraquer Roviralta (1855-1928) and in 1879 founded the Catalan School of Ophthalmology in the "Hospital de la Santa Creu"

Barraquer studied medicine in Barcelona and obtained his doctorate in 1908. A man of broad interests, he attended special courses on mechanics, moulding and plastic art at the School of Arts and Trades, physics and chemistry at the Instituo General, comparative anatomy, botany, bacteriology and applied chemistry at the Universidad de Madrid. At the universities of Paris and Montpellier he studied histology, ophthalmology, embryology and parasitology.

When his father retired in 1919 he was appointed Acting Professor of Ophthalmology at the School of Medicine, holding that position until 1923. In 1928 he organized an ophthalmological service at the Hospital de la Santa Creu in Sant Pau.

Barraquer is remembered for his operations for cataract, as well as for a number of surgical instruments that have been named for him. He conceived the idea of extracting cataracts by means of a delicate and subtle application of a suction cup without damaging the tissues of the eye upon observing a leech capture a little stone in an aquarium. He also designed and built a number of instruments, among them the suction cup and the adjustable mechanical vacuum-producing apparatus which permitted extraction of the crystalline lens.

In 1941, he founded the Centro de Oftalmología Barraquer, which was planned and designed by him. His greatest hobbies and concerns were automobiles, zoology and designing instruments and equipment for his clinic. His love of animals led him to create a small zoo in the garden of his clinic. In 1947, he founded the Asociación Científica del Instituto Barraquer.

Throughout his extensive professional life, Ignacio Barraquer performed over 30.000 operations. People from the five continents visited his consulting clinic, which earned him the status of "universal Catalan".

Ignacio's sons were Joaquin Barraquer Moner, and Jose-Ignacio Barraquer Moner, founder of the "Instituto Barraquer de Bogotá", Columbia.

We thank Jordi Peña-Casanova, Barcelona, Spain, for information submitted.


  • Un procédé d'extrême douceur pour l'extraction "in toto" de la cataracte.
    La clinique ophtalmologique, Paris, 1917, 22: 328–333.
    Attempts to extract cataract by suction and aspiration date from ancient times. Barraquer employed a special machine of his own invention.
  • Extracción ideal de la catarata (Nota presentada en las Reales Academias de Medicina y Cirugía de Madrid y Barcelona).
    España Oftalmológica, Revista de Clínica y Terapéutica Ocular, May 1917, 2 (4): 81-83.
  • Crítica de los métodos modernos de extracción de la catarata y Sobre mil facoérisis, proyecciones cinematográficas. Ponencia y comunicación presentadas al Primer Congreso Nacional de Medicina.
    Extraído de El Siglo Médico. Madrid: Imprenta del Sucesor de Enrique Teodoro, 1920.
  • Facoérisis. Comunicación presentada al Congreso Internacional de Oftalmología de Washington, celebrado en mayo de 1922.
    La Medicina Íbera, number 239, June 3, 1922.
  • La enseñanza de siete años de facoérisis.
    La Medicina Íbera, number 304, September 1, 1923.
  • Reproducido también en: Facoérisis. Libro Homenaje al Profesor Barraquer en sus bodas de oro. Barcelona: Editorial Barna, S.A., 1952: 79-84.
  • A. K. Greene:
    Ignacio Barraquer (1884–1965) and the Barraquer family of ophthalmologists.
    The Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, Ottawa, February 2001, volume 36, number 1.

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