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Turning points in surgery, especially in the 19th century

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Turning points in surgery, especially in the 19th century There were lots of different injuries that surgeons would try and treat. In the 16th century, Surgery wasn't taught in the universities. People became surgeons by being apprenticed to another surgeon, watching his or her work and copying it. There were guilds of surgeons who controlled entry into the profession. Master surgeons needed to have licenses and sometimes had to pass lengthy tests. Women had to pass these same tests to become surgeons and a great number did. One of the main turning points in surgery was in the Renaissance period and the man involved was Ambroise Pare. Before he came along, a process called Cauterization treated wounds. ...read more.


Now the only thing to do was to find a good way of stopping excessive bleeding. The old method was to press a red-hot iron over the wound to seal up the blood vessels and stop the bleeding. The only problem was that the patients nearly died from the pain of it all. Pare had another brilliant idea; he decided to tie a silk thread around each of the blood vessels to close them up. Pares one problem with this idea was that the silk thread would most likely carry an infection into the wound. If only he had an antiseptic to kill the germs his ides would have worked better. ...read more.


That meant that there had been a huge improvement in the death rate after the surgery but it wasn't perfect and people were still dying. The second turning point in the nineteenth century was the invention of anesthetics by a man called James Simpson. From the Stone Age until this time, any operation, even the pulling out of a tooth, would cause unbearable pain. The answer to this was obvious to Simpson. Anesthetics were a great idea because it meant that operations and surgery could be taken more seriously and slowly. Time could be taken to make sure that they got it absolutely right while the patient wouldn't feel the pain in any way. These were the two most important events or turning points in surgery in the nineteenth century and maybe in the history of surgery. ...read more.

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