HS was first described in 1833 by the French anatomist and surgeon Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie Velpeau, which is where the name Velpeau’s Disease originates. It was later investigated by another French Surgeon called Artistide Auguste Stanislas Verneuil from 1854 to 1865, earning it the name Verneuil’s Disease, and it was he who conducted the first clinical studies of Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).
In 1827, Velpeau is credited with providing the first accurate description of leukemia. A wrapping used to immobilize the arm to the chest wall is known as a “Velpeau bandage”. There are several other medical terms associated with his name, however these terms are now primarily used for historical purposes only; these include: “Velpeau hernia” for the femoral hernia, “Velpeau’s disease” for hidradenitis suppurativa, “Velpeau’s canal” for the inguinal canal and “Velpeau’s fossa”, also known as the ischior
Alfred-Armand-Louis-Marie Velpeau (May 18, 1795 – August 24, 1867) was a French anatomist and surgeon who was born in a village near Tours. He was a student and assistant to Pierre Bretonneau (1778-1862). During his early medical career he was a surgeon in several hospitals in Paris. In 1833 Velpeau succeeded Alexis de Boyer (1757-1833) as chair of clinical surgery at the University of Paris, a position he maintained until his death in 1867. Ramón Emeterio Betances –Puerto Rican pro-independence leader, surgeon and Légion d’honneur laureate– was one of Velpeau’s prominent students. [Ojeda Reyes, Félix, “El Desterrado de París”, pp. 20, 29–30] Velpeau was a skilled surgeon and renowned for his knowledge of surgical anatomy, and he published over 340 titles on surgery, embryology, anatomy, obstetrics, et al. In 1830 he published an important book on obstetrics, titled “Traité elementaire de l’art des accouchements”. Also, in 1827 Velpeau was the first physician to describe acute myeloid leukemia.The eponymous Velpeau bandage that is used for arm support is named after him. There are several other eponyms regarding Velpeau. However, they are now primarily used for historical purposes only; these include: “Velpeau hernia” for the femoral hernia, “Velpeau’s disease” for hidradenitis suppurativa, “Velpeau’s canal” for the inguinal canal and “Velpeau’s fossa” which is the ischiorectal fossa.Despite being one of the top surgeons in his time, Velpeau believed that pain-free surgery was a fantasy, and that surgery and pain were inseparable. With the advent of anaesthetics such as ether and chloroform in the 1840’s, Velpeau was amazed, saying “On the subject of ether, that it is a wonderful and terrible agent, I will say of chloroform, that it is still more wonderful and more terrible”Specialist