Alexander von Winiwarter

Alexander von Winiwarter

Alexander von Winiwarter (April 22, 1848 - October 31, 1917) was an Austrian-Belgian surgeon who was a native of Vienna, and brother to physician Felix von Winiwarter (1852-1931). 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, who was a pioneer in the field of modern surgical practices. Later he became head of the surgical department at the Kronprinz-Rudolf-Kinderspitals (Crown Prince Rudolf Children's Hospital), and afterwards moved to Belgium, where he was a professor of surgery at the University of Liege.

In the late 19th century, Winiwarter was first physician to use specialized massage and compression procedures to treat lymphedema, a disease which 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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