Portrait No. 16

Lam Qua, 1801-1860
Physical Description:
61 cm. x 47 cm.
Framed, oil on board
Woman, seated, wearing jade earrings. Pendulant tumors in both breasts.
Fifteenth Report, Chinese Repository, Vol. 15, 1850, p. 267-268: “17th April, 1848. Hypertrophy of both breasts of ten years growth, successfully removed under the influence of chloroform. Lú-shú, aged 42, of the district of Nanhai, first presented herself at the hospital, April 17th; and when about to operate upon her, after a few weeks preparatory treatment, her impatient opium-smoking husband, (268) suddenly summoned her home, and the woman returned and renewed the request to have her burden removed, which has increased nearly one third since she first presented herself. On 24th Dec 1849, in the presence of Dr. Bowring, and several other gentlemen, assisted by Dr. Marjoribanks, and my senior pupil the left breast, measuring two feet, two and a half inches in circumference and weighing 4 ½ catties (6 lbs.), was removed in three and a half minutes. When she came to the operating table she was under high nervous excitement, which was rather increased by the first application of chloroform, and being a Romanist, invoked the name of the Virgin Mary as well as of the Savior. And very soon after the second exhibition she became quite insensible, and the following day stated that she was only conscious, when the sutures were applied after the breast was removed. In one month after the right breast, measuring two feet and weighing 5 ½ lbs., was removed in three minutes. She came almost instantly under the influence of chloroform, which was administered at her own request, at first she seemed in a state of pleasurable excitement, chanting or singing, till she became silent and motionless. At one time she seemed to choke with spasms, and resembled a person in apoplexy; she revives as one awakes from sleep, with a natural expression upon her countenance. She complained rather more of the wound, than is usual when chloroform is administered. In one month she was discharged perfectly well.”
Donated by Peter Parker to the Yale School of Medicine and transferred to the Historical Library.
Variant Titles:
Breast Cancer
Breast Neoplasms
Medicine, Chinese
Missions and Missionaries
Missions, Medical
Case No. 27231
Parker, Peter, 1804-1888
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