17th Century & 18th Century
History of Otolaryngology Medicine & Surgery
Nathaniel Highmore (1613-1685) in 1651 recorded a case of pus formation in the antrum caused by an abscess of a canine tooth in the upper jaw and he relieved it by pulling the tooth. During that case, he described the maxillary sinus which now bears his name. He is one of the first to use a microscope to study anatomy.
Conrad Victor Schneider (1614-1680) described nasal secretion as originating in the anterior and posterior nasal mucous membrane and not from the cranial cavity. He established that the membranes when normal, secreted moderate amounts of mucus but when inflamed secreted more.
Thomas Willis (1621-1675) whose principal work was published in 1664 included illustrations by Sir Christopher Wren. The illustrations were the first representation of the circle of Willis, which detailed the arrangement of arteries at the base of the brain. In his account of the anatomy of the brain, Willis alludes to the 7th and 8th nerves.
Joseph Duverney (1648-1730) is known as an anatomist and a keen observer. His published book contained a clear explanation of the ear, along with illustrations that were so accurate that they could be used today. He stated that the Eustachian tube was not for breathing or hearing, but was the area through which the air of the tympanum was renewed. He also correctly explained the mechanism of bone conduction.
Antonio Valsalva (1665-1723) dissected more than a thousand human heads and in 1704 he wrote a paper on the ear. Valsalva described the ear by dividing it into three parts, the outer, middle, and inner ear. He applied the term "labyrinth" to the entire inner ear. He suggested the use of the terms scala vestibuli and scala tympani for parts of the cochlea. He was also the first to describe the muscles of the pinna, and to use the name "Eustachian" for the pharyngotympanic tube in honor of Eustachius. He was the first to demonstrate the presence of ankylosis (abnormal immobility) of the stapes at post-mortem. He formally suggested the use of the method of blowing out strongly while holding the mouth and nose closed, forcing air to pass into the tympanum by way of the Eustachian tube for when the Eustachian tube was obstructed. This method replenished the air in the middle ear.
Jean Louis Petit (1674-1750), of Paris, is believed to have completed the first successful operation on the mastoid for the removal of pus. His operation was not only the enlargement of a persistent fistulous track but a direct search for pus in the bone. The next known account of a mastoid operation was that of Jasser, a Prussian military surgeon, in 1776.
Giovanni Battista Morgagni (1682-1771) is considered a pioneer in modern pathology. He gave detailed descriptions of the ventricles of the larynx. He described spurs and deviations of the septum as due to rapid growth of the septum relative to the other bones of the upper jaw, thereby resulting in a curvature.
Guyot, a postmaster at Versailles, in 1724 succeeded in relieving his own deafness by the use of a curved tube passing into the mouth and behind the palate. He used water or a watery fluid (not air) that he injected into his Eustachian tube.
George Martine (1702-1743) was the first to perform a tracheotomy in Britain. Martine is recognized for having been the first to suggest the use of a double tracheotomy tube. The second inner tube could be easily removed and cleaned, thereby keeping the tube clear of mucus without having to remove the tracheotomy tube altogether