- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Claude-Nicolas Le Cat

Born  1700
Died  1768

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French surgeon, born September 6, 1700, Blérancourt, Oise; died August 20, 1768.

Biography of Claude-Nicolas Le Cat

Claude-Nicolas Le Cat came from a family of physicians. He studied surgery in Paris, but had not finished his training when in 1729 he was called to the archbishop of Rouen. He obtained his doctorate in Reims in 1732, and the following year settled permanently in that town.

In 1732 he began competing for the prizes awarded by the Académie de chirurgie, and until 1738 won almost all of them, occurring the academy to ask him to stop competing.

He became master of surgery in 1734, later chirurgien-major at the city Hôtel-Dieu. He commenced lecturing on anatomy and surgery, and in 1736 received the title of royal professor and demonstrator. In 1744 he founded the Académie royale des sciences, belles lettres et arts in Rouen, becoming its life-long secretary for the class of sciences and arts.

Le Cat was an accomplished operator, and invented an elevator for sickbeds. Besides medical themes, his writings concern mathematics, war architecture, and philosophy. He was knighted in 1762.

His son-in-law was the physician Jean Pierre David (1737-1784).


Dissertations in Prix de l’Académie royale de chirurgie:
  • Mémoir sur cette question: Pourqui certaines tumerurs doivent être exstirpées et d’autres simplement ouvertes? etc.
  • Mémoir sur cette question: Quels sont, selon les différens cas, les avantages et les inconvéniens de l’usage des tentes autres dilatans?
  • Mémoir sur ce sujet: D´terminer dans chaque genre de maladies chirurgicales les cas où il convient de panser fréquemment, et ceux òu il convient de panser rarement.
  • Mémoir sur ce sujet: Déterminer le caractère distinctif des plaies faites par armes à feu etc.
  • Mémoir sur cette question: si l’on doit amputer le carcinome des mamelles, vulgairement appelé cancer? Other publications:
  • Dissertation sur le dissolvant de la pierre, et en particulier sur celui de Mlle. Stéphens. Rouen, 1739.
  • Traité des sens. Rouen, 1739. Or 1740?
  • Lettre concernant l’operation de la taille, pratiquée dans les deux sexes. Rouen, 1749.
  • Recueil de pièces concernant l’opération de la taille, et réponse à un anonyme. Rouen, 1749-1763.
  • Parallèle de la taille latérale avec celle du lithotome caché.
    Polemic against the surgeon Jean Baseilhac (1703-1781) who was known under the name of Frère Côme. It was published under the name of Alex.-Pierre Nahuys. Amsterdam, 1766.
  • Dissertation sur l’existence et la nature du fluide des nerfs et son usage pour le mouvement musculaire.
    Berlin, 1753. Winning a prize from the Berlin academy.
  • Traité de la couleur de la peau humaine en général, de celle des nègres en particulier. 1765.
  • Traité des sensations et des passions en général, et des sens en particulier. 2 volumes. Paris, 1766.
  • Oevres physiologiques. 3 volumes; Paris, 1767.
  • Cours abrégé d’ostéologie. Rouen, 1768.

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