The Lithotomists - La famille Colot
BAUS ePoster online library. Wharton I. 11/10/20; 304153; P7-5 Disclosure(s): None
Mr. Iain Wharton
Mr. Iain Wharton
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The Lithotomists - La famille Colot

Kailavasan M1, Wharton I1
1University Hospitals of Coventry & Warwickshire, United Kingdom

The 'Colots' (Collot) were a close-knit family who became so synonymous with stone-cutting that they were simply called'the lithotomists'. Through eight-generations they practiced the craft. Germain Colot was the likely dynasty founder. He learnt lithotomy from 'the incisors', an itinerant group of Italian surgical practitioners who more or less kept their techniques secret (c.1460). On returning to Paris, he became an eminent surgeon and gained favour with Louis-XI. After practising on corpses, he famously operated on a thief with stone disease who was condemned to death, but pardoned on condition that he submitted himself to vivisection. The operation occurred, and the criminal survived(c.1474). Laurent Colot was taught the 'Marian operation' ('apparatus major') by Octavian-de-Villa of Rome. After Octavian's death, Laurent was summoned to Paris by Henry-II to become royal lithotomist (1556). The family's legacy began in earnest. With hospital governors identifying lithotomy as an operation to increase their status, Laurent was also appointed at Hôtel-Dieu. Here, he operated on the poor, which fulfilled his charitable obligations and allowed him to perfect technique. His reputation spread and patients from throughout Europe resorted to Paris to obtain relief. The secret of the technique and office remained in the family, which led to a lithotomy monopoly in Paris for more than 150-years. Philippe Colot(1593-1656) refined the technique and instruments, and even operated on his father.
With Francois Colot's death (1630-1706), and the posthumous publication of the technique in his'Traité de l'opération de la taille' (1727) the family's remarkable stranglehold on lithotomy ceased and a new era in French lithotomy dawned.
The Lithotomists - La famille Colot

Kailavasan M1, Wharton I1
1University Hospitals of Coventry & Warwickshire, United Kingdom

The 'Colots' (Collot) were a close-knit family who became so synonymous with stone-cutting that they were simply called'the lithotomists'. Through eight-generations they practiced the craft. Germain Colot was the likely dynasty founder. He learnt lithotomy from 'the incisors', an itinerant group of Italian surgical practitioners who more or less kept their techniques secret (c.1460). On returning to Paris, he became an eminent surgeon and gained favour with Louis-XI. After practising on corpses, he famously operated on a thief with stone disease who was condemned to death, but pardoned on condition that he submitted himself to vivisection. The operation occurred, and the criminal survived(c.1474). Laurent Colot was taught the 'Marian operation' ('apparatus major') by Octavian-de-Villa of Rome. After Octavian's death, Laurent was summoned to Paris by Henry-II to become royal lithotomist (1556). The family's legacy began in earnest. With hospital governors identifying lithotomy as an operation to increase their status, Laurent was also appointed at Hôtel-Dieu. Here, he operated on the poor, which fulfilled his charitable obligations and allowed him to perfect technique. His reputation spread and patients from throughout Europe resorted to Paris to obtain relief. The secret of the technique and office remained in the family, which led to a lithotomy monopoly in Paris for more than 150-years. Philippe Colot(1593-1656) refined the technique and instruments, and even operated on his father.
With Francois Colot's death (1630-1706), and the posthumous publication of the technique in his'Traité de l'opération de la taille' (1727) the family's remarkable stranglehold on lithotomy ceased and a new era in French lithotomy dawned.
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