Silver Sutures in Surgery.

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James Sims


Silver Sutures in Surgery.


New York


Samuel S. and William Wood




James Marion Sims was a 19th-century American surgeon, known as the father of modern gynecology. He developed a surgical treatment for vesico-vaginal fistulas in the early 19th century. These fistulas were a relatively common condition, in which a woman's urine leaked into her vaginal cavity from her bladder; in the 1800s, many regarded the fistulas as untreatable. After years of effort to repair the fistulas with different techniques and procedures, Sims developed an improved surgical operation. He also popularized the use of silver metal sutures to treat and cure women who had these vesico-vaginal fistulas. Sims's surgical cure for vesico-vaginal fistulas eased both the social stigma and physical discomfort of many affected women. Current treatments of vesico-vaginal fistulas have evolved since the 19th century, yet some of the basic principles utilized by Sims have been incorporated into today’s surgeries.