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Léon Clément Le Fort

Born  1829
Died  1893

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French surgeon, born December 5, 1829, Lille; died October 19, 1893.

Biography of Léon Clément Le Fort

Léon Clément le Fort studied in Paris, where his principal teachers were Joseph-François Malgaigne (1806-1865) and Stanislas Laugier (1799-1872). After receiving his doctorate in Paris in 1858, he participated as a voluntary in the Italian war from 1859. In 1861 he became prosector of the faculty in Paris.

Le Fort undertook long educational journeys abroad. From 1865 to 1872 he was surgeon to the Paris hospitals Enfants-Assistés, Midi, Cochin, Laboisière, and Beaujon. In 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, he became head of a voluntary field hospital in Metz, and in 1873 he was appointed professor of operative surgery at the medical faculty, as well surgeon at the Hôtel-Dieu. In 1893 he was elected member of the Académie de Médecine, of which he was president that year. He died, however, on October 19 the same year.

Le Fort was one of the most prominent 19th century French surgeons, and a main mediator between French and foreign surgery. Besides inventing surgical instruments, of which some still bear his name, he improved several operational methods. He concerned himself with a broad spectre of surgical problems, pregnancy and military surgery, as well as the hygienic conditions in the hospitals of France and Great Britain.


  • Recherches sur l’anatomie des poumons chez l’homme. 1858.
  • De la résection de genou. 1859.
  • De la résection de la hanche. 1861.
  • Note sur l’hygiène hospitalière en France et en Angleterre. 1862.
  • Des vices de conformation de l’utérus et de vagin et des moyens de remédier. 1863.
  • Des anévrysmes en général. 1866.
  • Des maternités. 1866.
  • Des indications du trépan dans les fractures du crâne. 1867.
  • La chirurgie militaire et les sociétés de leçons en France et l’étranger. 1872.
  • Manuel de médecine opératoire. 8th edition, 1876, of Malgaigne's work, first published in 1834. His Oeuvres publiées par Félix Lejars appeared in two volumes in Paris 1895-1896.

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