Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The Virginia Apgar Papers

Operations notebook pdf (1,487,582 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Operations notebook
Apgar kept this notebook during her first semester at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, noting the details of the surgeries she observed, including techniques, anesthesia used, and prognosis.
NOTE: Best quality scan that could be obtained.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
6 (1,487,582 Bytes)
1929-10 (October 1929)
[Apgar, Virginia]
Original Repository: Mount Holyoke College. Archives and Special Collections. Virginia Apgar Papers [MS 0504]
Reproduced with permission of Peter A. Apgar.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
General Surgery
Exhibit Category:
From Surgery to Anesthesiology, 1933-1937
Box Number: 6
Folder Number: 4
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Course records/Training records 1926-1973
Folder: Notebook: Operations, Columbia University 1929
1. P.H. Dr. Janssen - 10/4/29
Case - Drainage of Ischial Rectal abscess. [Symbol for female]
2 incisions on either side of rectum. Some bleeding. Gauze put in for drainage. Stitches. Anaesthetic - General - N2O partly. When regaining consciousness, subject vomited. 8 light hemorrhage. Dressing.
2. P.H. Dr. Janssen. 10/5/29
Case - Hemorrhoidectomy - Anesth. - Local. 2 injections Novocain. Case 6 years standing Burning sensation, bleeding. Anoscope used. Parts cauterized. (smelled!!) Dressing.
3. P.H. Dr. Auchinloss - 10/7/29.
Case - Mastectomy and transfusion.
Anesthetic - Ether. Incision - Axilla - under clavicle, down sternum. Took off P. major. Cut thru Fascia. Blood trans. Fusion in middle - indirect method - 50 cc syringes
About 20 times. Cannulae used. Many hemorrhages. Clamped & tied. Suture [drawing of incision] 3 drainage tubes put in. 2 small, 1 large (?lost 1 small) Safety pins in end. Fenestred. Unilateral Dressing.
Oct. 9. 1929.
Dr. Janssen
Dr. Auchinloss -
Choledectomy - Coleotomy [Female symbol]
Incision below diaphragm
No hemorrhages - Anesthetic - Ether &
Dr. Moore - (tacked some)
Removal of cyst or sinus in breast. Circular incision in breast. Circular incision small lump removed. 18 yrs. standing.
Oct. 10, 1929
Dr. Bull
Frozen sect. Radical Master. G & O & E
Lymph glands removed (Dr. V Frantz?) Sections made- cancer diagnosis - masterectomy
Dr. Moore G & O
Cauterization of Lung Abscess. Tissue like cartilage. Old scar tissue. Subject to spasms of coughing.
Oct. 11. 1929
Dr. Beverly Smith (Red hair) 9:30-1:00 G & O & E
Cancer of breast. Radical operation. Incision- extra flap of skin cut and drawn up. [drawing of incision] Patient went into shock. Given 4000 cc. Saline intravenously. Very pale. Pulse not present. B.P. at beginning (9:30) 130. B.P. at end 136. Pulse quite strong. One opening for drainage - one to relieve tension. All skin will slough off.
Condition of metastases operation probably did little good. Resorted to blood transfusion in end. Direct
Oct. 12. 1929.
Dr. Bull. Removal Lipoma on neck. Colored [male symbol].
Injected anesthetic in circular region around lipoma. [drawing of location of lipoma]
Incision transverse large fatty tumor. Quite some hemorrhage.
Oct. 15. 1929
Dr. St. John. E.
Thyroidectomy. [female symbol] - (18?)
Incision at base of neck - sides retracted - Rt. lobe removed - tubercles or calcified regions - visible. At first, thought Tb. (Superior thyroid comes off carotid) Removal of pyramidal lobe. Carcinoma evident. Left only small part of posterior lobe. Skin joined by clips - less scar than stitches - but hurts more. Tension.
Carcinoma and hyperthyroid unusual. Whole gland diseased. Also lymph nodes nearby. Prognosis very bad. 60% hospital [Drawing of location of incision]
mortality. 5 cases 1 died of postoperative pneumonia. 2 died of operation. 2 recovered. Metastases inevitable. Excellent anesthetist. Pulse curve almost St. line. Quiet breathing. Dr. Hanford G & O & E.
[Drawing showing incision] 2 pieces skin skin graft from lower thoracic region.
(Radical Mastectomy)
Dr. Whipple.
Found to be a cyst and not carcinoma. Drainage in case bacterial, infection present.
Oct. 16, 1929
Hysterectomy - Uterus cystic, one ovary cystic, - other normal. Did not remove. Strong adhesions between uterus and rectum. Rectum a solid mass - would probably be removed later.
Patient given local - but too much pain. Put under general G & O & E.?
Oct. 17, 1929
Expl. Coleotomy - Removal of sigmoid colon. Colon pulled out and burnt off. Stump held outside body by alligator forceps & packed in dressing. In direct transfusion.
Hemorrhoidectomy. Large piece of rectum cut out. Indirect transfusion - 500 cc.
etc. Dr. St. John. G & O
Appendectomy - 16 yrs. old [female symbol]
15 cm long. [drawing of appendix]
Symptoms - Pain 3 weeks - mild. Cut from Miso append [ . . . ] Burnt off end from caecum - tried inserting end into caecum but not successful. Reinforced around cut.
Erd. Coleotomy - Spinal anesthesia - tied [ . . . ] outside body. Morphine sulfate injected in middle. Peritoneal of skin seemed [ . . . ] up under [ . . . ] dressing.
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples