Pietro Loreta and his contribution to surgery in the 19th century

Nicolò Nicoli Aldini, Milena Fini, Roberto Giardino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pietro Loreta (1831 to 1889), head of surgery at the University of Bologna, Italy, is at present a little-known name. However, in the field of surgery in the second half of the 19th century, his contributions to various areas, especially that of bladder stone treatment and gastric surgery, aroused great interest also at the international level. This survey focuses on both of these subjects that are particularly indicative of Loreta's activity. While he was trying to improve the operation of perineal cystotomy, which was about to be abandoned, he was faced with the new frontier of gastrointestinal tract surgery. Surgery was in rapid transformation, and the practice of a general surgeon still encompassed the domains of different surgical specialities, which would develop individually afterward. Loreta was a pupil of the outstanding surgeon Francesco Rizzoli and some of his pupils such as Alessandro Codivilla and Bartolo Nigrisoli became heads of surgery. His attitude of caution, that he recommended in his writings, is more remarkable considering his problematic nature and might be the most significant and original trait of Loreta's personality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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