An early success: the Sun King

 

 

sonnensymbolLouis XIV (1638-1715), also known as the Sun King, suffered from bad health in many ways throughout his entire life. His anal fistula was probably caused by long periods on horseback.


His personal doctor Henri Louis Daquin and the surgeon Félix de Tassy had already tried to shrink the anal fistula, but in vain. In 1686, at the age of 48 and after months of suffering, the king decided to have an operation.


The surgeon de Tassy had a special scalpel made for the operation. And he found himself under a lot of pressure because nothing less than than a complete cure of His Majesty was expected of him. The king's medical file contains a detailed description of the operation, which was carried out in total secrecy, but without anesthetic.


After the first successful anal fistula operation, which was probably the first known, there were many celebrations in honor of the king and his superhuman courage. The success was also a boost to the reputation of the medical profession.


The court was seized by a passionate interest in medical practice. From then on, there were regular public lectures on medical themes. For the gentlemen of the court it became fashionable to admit to suffering from a fistula as well and to having already arranged the operation.