Vascular anastomosis, the surgical process of connecting blood vessels to one another, was made viable by Alexis Carrel at the turn of the twentieth century. His technique became fundamental to modern vascular surgery, and is central to his legacy as the "father" of vascular surgery. Carrel was, however, taught by the famous Lyon embroiderer Marie Anne Leroudier, the significance of which has yet to be examined. In this article, I work with the embroiderer Fleur Oakes to reenact a simulation at which Carrel excelled—putting stitches into a cigarette paper—and discuss a selection of Leroudier's works in relation to his surgical practice. Our simulation and its subsequent discussion, I argue, is an invitation to frame vascular anastomosis in gendered and craft terms, and to problematize the still-dominant construction of the young Carrel as the archetypal heroic, male surgeon.


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pp. 141-169
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