Journal of Universal Surgery

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Promethean and Tityean hepatic regeneration, unveiling hepar's myth. Post mortem observation, surgical ascertainment, or just fiction?

Gregory Tsoucalas, Andreas Kapsoritakis, Spyros Potamianos, Markos Sgantzos.

Two ancient Greek myths, the sad stories of Prometheus and Tityus, suggest that ancient Greek medico-philosophers observed hepar’s ability to regenerate after a partial excision. For some, hepar was the centre of the soul and an important visceral organ for human’s body homeostasis. Although facts such as war surgery, dissections, both human and animal, autopsies and abdominal surgery (hepatic abscesses and malignancies) testify that ancient Greeks had some knowledge on hepar’s anatomy and physiology, there is no clear reference that they did witness the hepatic regeneration.