This section is from the book "Anatomy Of The Arteries Of The Human Body", by John Hatch Power. Also available from Amazon: Anatomy of the Arteries of the Human Body, with the Descriptive Anatomy of the Heart.
The external iliac artery was first tied by Mr. Abernethy, in the year 1796, in a case of femoral aneurism. He had previously tied the femoral artery, according to Brasdor's plan, on the capillary side of the aneurism; but, dangerous hemorrhage having occurred on the fifteenth day after the operations, he proceeded to tie the external iliac artery.
Having separately divided the integuments and aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle, for about three inches in extent over the course of the artery, he next passed his finger beneath the margin of the internal oblique and transversalis muscles, and divided them in the same direction. The peritoneum being next pushed upwards and inwards, he proceeded to separate the vein from the artery. In this, however, as already stated, much difficulty was experienced until the fascia, which covered and united them, was divided; this was done with much caution, and a ligature passed round the artery from within outwards. In his next case he proceeded in a similar way, except that he made his incision not over, but in a line a little external to, the course of the artery, in order to avoid the epigastric. In both these cases he failed; but in the third, in 1806, the patient perfectly recovered. Mr. Freer, of Birmingham, performed the operations in 1806; Mr. Tomlinson operated in 1807, and in a second instance in 1809,—in both cases with success. In 1811, the operation of tying this artery with a single ligature was successfully performed in this city by the late Mr. Kirby. During the operation he experienced the same difficulty from the sub-peritoneal layer of fascia that Mr. Abernethy encountered in his operation.* In 1814 Sir A. Cooper had performed this operation seven times, and four out of seven cases were successful. The artery has also been tied in this city by Todd, Wilmot, Porter, Houston, Bellingham, etc.: in all, it has been tied about forty-three times for aneurism of the femoral artery.†