Biography of Diego de Argumosa Obregón (1792-1865)

Spanish physician, born in Puente de San Miguel (Santander) in 1792 and died in Torrelavega (Santander) in 1865.

Latest completed their secondary studies (1814) because of the war of independence, in which participated as second practitioner of surgery in a military hospital. He/She then entered the Colegio de San Carlos of Madrid, where he/she obtained the titles of Licentiate and doctor in medical surgical (1820). It was later, during two years, acting Professor at the College of surgery medical, Burgos. Back in Madrid, won by opposition, first anatomical dissector square and later the Chair of "external affections and operations" of the Colegio de San Carlos (1829).

During the quarter-century following, Argumosa became the maximum figure of the Spanish surgery. His Magisterium was instrumental in raising the level of knowledge and practice surgical, in a moment in which the country suffered an almost general collapse of medical and scientific activity. His disciples include Juan Creus Manso, master, in turn, of the school led by José Ribera Sans that, still in the years of transition to the current century, was considered a continuation of the work of the Santander.

Next to teaching prestige, Argumosa accumulated successes as operator and honours granted by Spanish and foreign institutions. He/She collaborated also from positions of great responsibility, in planning professional and health care reforms, as well as health tasks, such as fighting the first angry epidemic (1834). For a short time, he/she even intervene as a liberal in politics, holding for a few months the positions of second Mayor of Madrid and member of his province (1836-1837).

On the other hand, a series of setbacks embittered his existence. In 1835, he/she took part in the cure of the famous wounds of Sor patronage, resulting in serious trouble, to be temporarily separated from the Chair. José Alarcón Salcedo, antique, his disciple, published without consulting him, the title of Handbook of external affections (1842), notes from his lessons full of errors. To protest Argumosa, Alarcon replied with a pamphlet that attacked his master of form despieadada. Six years later, the Santander surgeon kept a long and bitter controversy with fellow Joaquín Hysern cloister, by a method of cheiloplasty priority. The character of Argumosa, which had always been difficult, became increasingly aggressive. In 1850, collided violently with the professors José María López and Manuel Soler. Later he/she did his students that, mutinous, pursued him to his house. Deeply resentful, he/she resigned the Chair in 1853, retreating to Torrelavega, where it remained completely isolated twelve his remaining life.

Argumosa was a comparable surgeon surgical large figures of their time in other European countries. He/She practiced with great dexterity a technique based on the domino of topographic Anatomy, with the fundamental intention of removing localized anatomical lesions. Although for some time the "Médecine physiologique" of François-Joseph-Victor Broussais influence him partially, the basic assumption of his work was coming from the Paris School of clinicopathological pathology.

On the other hand, he/she knew how to incorporate early developments of importance. For example, he/she was the first who used anesthesia by inhalation in Spain. In January 1847, only a quarter after the first application in Boston by William T. G. Morton and John C. Warren, Argumosa already had four cases of patients operated on under anesthesia with sulfuric ether. Later, he/she invented a device for its administration and was also among the first who used chloroform.

The historic relief of Argumosa lies, however, in their contribution to the surgical technique, which eriquecio with a long series of original procedures. Unlike the contributions of other Spanish Surgeons of the 20th century, the de Argumosa were not limited to mere corrections of detail with little or no impact. They were important developments which, in addition, served as the basis to an operative tradition which, as we have made strides, remained throughout more than one century.

The most notable correspond to the vascular and plastic surgery. Argumosa devised methods of eyelid surgery to treat the total loss of the outer half of both eyelids or cancer of the lower eyelid and a technique for the treatment of lip cancers cheiloplasty and introduced improvements to the Rhinoplasty. He/She also invented a suture, which he/she called "basted", for the treatment of aneurysms and a method of subcutaneous ligation of veins in the varicocele using your "Fisherman's knot", which allowed a graduated and progressive constriction. In addition, he/she was the first who advocated the fleborrafia.

His contributions to surgery of the locomotive fixture, especially to the disarticulations were also numerous chapter that they developed after Creus, Ribera and other Spanish surgeons, as León Sánchez Quintanar and Enrique Ferrer Viñerta. Something similar is true of urological operations (treatment of sarcoceles and hydroceles, urethrostomy and cystostomy, etc.), are more modest for digestive surgery news and other aspects still very limited at the time prelisteriana (intestinal sutures, "siringotomo" for treatment of fistula of year, removal of the parotid and cancer of the tongue, etc.).

The increased interest of Argumosa publicaiocnes are articles from 1834, published in the Bulletin of medicine, surgery and Pharmacy and, above all, its overview of surgery (1856). Written in his retirement from Torrelavega, the latter offers an excellent synthesis based on their experience and enriched with their personal aportanciones. It consists of two volumes and an atlas, and is ordained, is unusual, according to the types of surgical maneuvers (meetings, divisions, extractions, etc.).



Summary surgery, 2 vols. and atlas, Madrid, J. M. Alonso, 1856.Algunos of Argumosa articles appeared in the Bulletin of medicine, surgery and pharmacy, they are as follows: new method of circumcision, 1 (1834), 98-99. Radical cure of Hydrocele by the method of the refrains, 2nd series, 2 (1847), 307-308. Observations of a sarcocele: new procedure to cure it by subcutaneous ligation of the spermatic cord, 2nd series, 3 (1848), 411-412. The lower lip cancerous ulcer... cheiloplasty by a new method, 2nd series, 4 (1849), 87.


SANS RIBERA, José: Case studies of Spanish, Madrid, p. Aloy, 1916.albarracin, Agustín: Diego de Argumosa and Obregón, thesis of Valencia, 1967.lopez PINERO, José M; BUJOSA, Francesc: Spanish classics of Anesthesiology, Valencia, Chair of the history of medicine, 1981, pp. 14-20, 71-75.