Fascia of Scarpa
Other Known Aliases – deep fascia of abdominal wall, stratum membranosum
Definition – The membranous layer of the superficial abdominal fascia that is deep to the fascia of Camper and superficial to the external oblique muscle.
Clinical Significance – This is one of the classic nine abdominal layers you cut through when performing open abdominal procedures and is a favorite pimp question among general surgeons.
History – Named after Antonio Scarpa (1752-1832), who was an Italian anatomist and professor and received his medical doctorate at the University of Padua at the age of 18. He held numerous professorships of anatomy throughout Italy. His Traité pratique des hernia of 1812 was the authoritative work on hernias and from which his eponym is derived. Unfortunately, his political views and ruthless nature as a nobleman tarnished his reputation (almost irrevocably) after his death from kidney stones in 1832. Statues were defaced and destroyed and, in an act of morbid homage, his head from removed from his cadaver and sent to the Institute of Anatomy in Bologna for exhibition. In fact, it is still on exhibition at the University History Museum in Pavia, Italy.
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