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History of Surgery.

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History Homework: Surgery a) Trepanation was one of the earliest forms of surgery and was common practice in prehistoric times. It involved drilling a small hole in the head to release evil spirits trapped inside the body that were supposedly causing the patient ill health. Although skulls that have survived from the prehistoric age show signs that some people survived after trepanation, many people would have died after having this operation from infection or even the pain of it. In the Middle Ages and throughout the Renaissance cauterisation was used. This was when a hot iron was used to seal the wound left after amputation. Amputations were carried out using saws, which would have caused the patient great pain. Also the medical instruments used at this time were not cleaned properly so the chance of infection and the spread of disease was high. ...read more.


After antiseptics had been invented the risk of death after surgery fell. By the late 1800s, more and more operations were taking place in aseptic environments allowing surgeons to go deeper into the human body and to perform more complex operations than before with less chance of the patient dying. c) If we look at ancient medicine we can see that hygiene was probably one of the most important factors at the time. In ancient Egypt this meant regularly washing although this was probably more to do with religion than anything else. Egyptians did have some basic knowledge of surgery such as how to remove tumours. However, in Greece the natural thinker Hippocrates encouraged exercise and cleanliness as part of a healthy lifestyle. Hygiene was particularly important in Roman times when there were public baths and toilets. The Medici were surgeons that carried out operation on the battlefield for the Roman army. ...read more.


and not using boiling oil for gunshot wounds. The invention of anaesthetics and antiseptics led to a new era in medicine which resulted in surgery developing rapidly as saving peoples lives through operations became a reality. However, before this time the chance of patients surviving after an operation were a lot slimmer due to the lack of knowledge about infection, pain and bleeding. Although surgery has always been a key feature in medicine throughout history it has not always been the most important. Throughout ancient medicine surgery was quite basic and no major developments were made in this area. There were a number of factors more important than surgery at the time. This continued through the Middle Ages and most of the Renaissance. Surgery did not really become a significant factor in medicine until the 1800s, which saw the introduction of both anaesthetics and antiseptics. ...read more.

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