Yang She

Lam Qua, 1801-1860
Physical Description:
61 cm. x 47 cm.
Framed, oil on board
Woman with large thyroid hanging from chin.
Seventh Report of the Ophthalmic Hospital in Canton being that of the 31st of December, 1837, In: Chinese Repository, vol. 6, May 1837 – April 1838, p. 438 June 19th. Sarcomatous tumor. Yang She, aged 20 of Hwanyuen, had a tumor pendulous from the chin and larynx. It commenced ten years since and the last years had been very cumbersome. The attachment beneath the chin was five inches in circumference. Centrally and horizontally it measured two feet three inches, and vertically three feet two inches. It extended below the umbilicus but not so as to rest in the lap; consequently its weight was sustained by the attachment, and the patient had to sit constantly in a bracing posture, to prevent its drawing down her head. The natural features were distorted, the cheeks being drawn tense by the weight of the tumor. The muscles on the back of the neck were preternaturally large, having been in constant action. A native practitioner had applied a ligature which remained sufficiently long to produce a permanent singular scar. Probably, while the ligature interrupted the flood of blood in the veins it did not compress the arteries, nor benumb the nerves: the pain must have been great and the result doubtful, had the destruction of the tumor been affected. Being in her fifth month the case was all the more critical. It was at this time determined to take a voyage to Japan; but whether she was apprized of this or not, or feared I might not return, she and her friends were urgent to have removed the tumor then, though the objection to it was distinctly stated. Perceiving the confidence of the patient and anxiety of her friends, with the appropriation of several medical gentlemen, I complied with her wishes and on the 21st June, the tumor was removed in 12 seconds, and the patient dressed and in bed in 20 minutes. With the exception of a single point the tumor, an inch in diameter, the tumor was as distinct from its surrounding parts, as an egg in its nest. Seldom has there been less apparent suffering from so serious an operation, as there was manifested by the young woman. The wound healed kindly without any unpleasant symptoms. Her first attempts to walk were awkward, having lost so much “ballast”. In one week the healing process had far advanced, when at my departure from Canton for Japan, Messrs. Cox and Anderson resident physicians most obligingly took charge of her and the preceding cases, and such others as were in the hospital, and required attention: they have also continued their assistance on each day for operations, weekly. In seventeen days she was discharged quite well. December 17th, she returned, bringing her robust little son, two months old. Her features were assumed very much their natural form. (…)”
Donated by Peter Parker to the Yale School of Medicine and transferred to the Historical Library.
Medicine, Chinese
Missions and Missionaries
Missions, Medical
Case No. 3790
Parker, Peter, 1804-1888
Yang She
paintings (AAT)
Content Type:
Paintings & Drawings
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Access Restrictions:
Source Title:
Peter Parker Collection
Yale Collection:
Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
Digital Collection:
Lam Qua's Portraits of Peter Parker's Patients