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J Urol. 2012 Mar;187(3):1130-4. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.10.134. Epub 2012 Jan 21.

A brief history of rejuvenation operations.

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1
Department of Urology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5330, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We discuss the place in history of operative procedures for hormonal rejuvenation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The scientific and historical literature was reviewed.

RESULTS:

In the early 20th century, building on the earlier work of Berthold and Brown-Séquard, Eugen Steinach developed a combination of vasectomy and vasoligature that became known as the Steinach operation. This procedure, along with testicular implantation popularized by Serge Voronoff, was an attempt to rejuvenate older and fatigued men around the world. The early experiments and results of Steinach, Voronoff and their followers were plagued by secrecy, subjectivity and sensationalism in an effort to produce the most scientific data. These rejuvenists used their results to outcompete one another. Ultimately the lack of verifiable outcome data and the chemical isolation of the "internal secretion" (testosterone) ended this era in surgery.

CONCLUSIONS:

Always a work in progress, the practice of medicine has been guided by human curiosity with trial, error and success. History records aberrant paths along the way and the rejuvenation movement was one such journey. While superseded by later knowledge, the efforts of the rejuvenists comprise an interesting chapter in the development of urology, endocrinology and transplant surgery.

PMID:
22266009
DOI:
10.1016/j.juro.2011.10.134
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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