Alexander von Winiwarter
1848 – 1917
Who was Alexander von Winiwarter?
Alexander Winiwarter obtained his medical doctorate in 1870 at the University of Vienna, and worked as a surgical assistant at the Vienna University Clinic under Theodor Billroth, a pioneer in the field of modern surgical practices. Later, he became head of the surgical department at the Kronprinz-Rudolf-Kinderspitals, and in 1878 relocated to Belgium, where he became a professor of surgery at the University of Liège. Subsequently he acquired Belgian citizenship.
In the latter part of the 19th century, Winiwarter introduced specialized massage and compression procedures to treat lymphedema, a disease that causes swollen arms and legs due to fluid retention in the lymphatic system. In 1932, Danish physiotherapist Emil Vodder refined and improved Winiwarter's technique to treat lymphedema. Vodder's treatment was to become known as manual lymphatic drainage.
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