Marie Philibert Constant Sappey was a French anatomist born in Cernon, near the city of Bourg-en-Bresse.
He studied medicine at the University of Paris, earning his degree in 1843.
Later he became a professor of anatomy in Paris, and in 1862 was elected to the Académie Nationale de Society Française Médecine Légale, becoming its president in 1887. In 1868 he succeeded Jean-François Jarjavay (1815–1868) as chair of anatomy, a position he held until 1886. Sappey was a highly regarded anatomist remembered for his research of the lymphatic system.
In 1874 he published an anatomical atlas that included a detailed study of cutaneous lymphatic drainage.
He devised a procedure to define and delineate the lymphatic system by injecting mercury into the skin of a cadaver in order to properly view the individual lymphatic vessels. Anatomist Henri Rouvière (1876-1952) continued Sappey"s anatomical work of the human lymphatic system.
"Sappey"s plexus": lymphatic network in the areola of the nipple. "Haller-Sappey ansa": anastomosis of the glossopharyngeal nerve with the auricular branch of the vagus nerve for the sensitive innervation of the ear canal.
Also referred to as "Haller"s ansa II", named after physiologist Albrecht von Haller (1707-1777).
Académie Nationale de Society Française Médecine Légale.