Surgery, Fame, and Misfortune: The Life of Bronisław Kader
Bronisław Kader (1863–1937) introduced one of the traditional methods of gastrostomy. He was a Polish doctor who had been trained by such eminent surgeons as Ernst von Bergmann, Otto E. Küstner, Jan Mikulicz, and Eduard von Wahl. The Kader method implies blunt division of the left rectus muscle and opening of the stomach by a very small incision. A drainage tube is then inserted and fastened to the stomach wall by a stitch. Next, the stomach wall is sutured to the abdominal wall in a manner that places the tube in a tunnel surrounded by serosa. In comparison to others, Kader’s method of gastrostomy was considered simpler, cheaper (fewer stitches), speedy, and safe. Although recommendations to perform gastric fistula were limited at the time, the value of gastrostomy remains undisputable. This is a method of choice for securing alimentation in cases of intractable stenosis of the pharynx or esophagus, which are usually due to cancer, chemical burns, trauma, or congenital defects. Nowadays, it is performed endoscopically or laparoscopically. This article presents the life history of Bronisław Kader, the eponymous of this method and a gifted surgeon who lost his eyesight at the height of his fame.