Ignacio Barraquer (1884-1965) is acknowledged for his contributions advancing the field of cataract surgery as well as his humanitarian work on an outstanding international basis.
Surgical instruments and procedures involving various eye treatments and cataract surgery, including the suction cup that extracts cataracts (which he conceived and invented) and the fine-tunable vacuum-producing apparatus allowing the removal of the crystalline lens, are named after him.
Ignacio Barraquer received his medical doctorate during 1908 in Barcelona, Spain, where he was born. Upon his father’s retirement, he was appointed Acting Professor of Ophthalmology at the School of Medicine. He held this position until 1923.
This man’s training in eye treatments (and more) was extremely extensive. He studied mechanics, molding and plastic art at the School of Arts and Crafts; physics and chemistry in the General Institute; as well as comparative anatomy, botany, human anatomy, emergency surgery, general chemistry at the University of Madrid (where he additionally studied and chemical and microscopic analysis, as applied to clinical chemistry, and bacteriology). Further, he studied histology, ophthalmology, embryology, and parasitology at the universities of Paris and Montpellier.
After the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), he established and directed the ophthalmologic dispensary for the Red Cross Hospital in Barcelona for three years. During his career, Ignacio Barraquer performed over 30,000 operations including patients from all continents, helping him earn the epithet of “Universal Catalan” One of his patients included Eugenia de Montijo, Empress of France, wife of Napoleon III.
Barraquer founded and architecturally designed the private eye clinic in Spain called the Centro de Oftalmología Barraquer in 1941. This center is devoted to research, prevention, diagnosis, eye treatments and follow-up of various ocular diseases. The clinic offers assistance to patients from all over the world.
Today, eye surgeon and professor Joaquín Barraquer (Ignacio’s second son) is manager of Centro de Oftalmología Barraquer with a structured team of 30 ophthalmologists in different specialities, covering all of the eye treatments in all the ophthalmology fields.