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What factors brought about change in Surgery?

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Introduction

What factors brought about change in Surgery? Many factors brought about changes in Surgery. Surgery in early1800 was dangerous and painful. There was no way of completely relieving the pain suffered by the patient, nor was it possible to replace blood transfusions although blood vessels could be tied up by ligatures to stop the bleeding. Operations went dreadfully wrong and many patients died from blood poisoning. The change or breakthrough in Surgery was brought about, when First World War broke out in 1914. The First World War led to massive casualties and loss of human lives. Though Surgeons had old primitive methods of surgery but the First World War led surgeons to find modern methods of saving lives. The 19th century saw the birth of new ideas in surgery. As 19th century saw the dawn of Industrial Revolution in Britain and saw a huge rise in population. Lack of exercise, pollution related disease like lung diseases and deficiency diseases were common in people. Anaesthetics played an important part in childbirth and even Queen Victoria requested for chloroform during the birth of Prince Leopold. The Government of England played an important in 19th century, as many people of England were encouraged to copy the example of their sovereign. The Crimean War which broke out in March 1854, led to heavy casualties. ...read more.

Middle

Nitrous oxide (laughing Gas) was discovered in 1799 by Humphrey Davy but ignored by surgeons of the time. Horace Wells suggested Nitrous oxide for dentistry. When by chance, he did a experiment in 1845 on a patient who was unaffected by gas. In 1847 James Simpleton undertook self experiment and prove that chloroform may cause liver damage. General Anaesthetics (complete unconsciousness) was very risky, so local Anaesthetic (numbing of the part treated) is better for many operations. Local Anaesthetics based on cocaine, started to be used from 1814. Some people were suspicious of doctors using Anaesthetics and even objected on basis on religious grounds. Others were afraid of side effects and the dangers of overdose. Surgeons were keen to perform complicated operations because an unconscious patient was more cooperative and surgeon could take longer over his work. As the dangers of bleeding and infection had not been overcome, the attempts at more complicated surgery actually led to increased death between 1848 to 1870. This was all improved by 20th century when Modern Anaesthetics use complicated mixtures to produce muscle relaxation or paralysis. Modern Surgery also follows antiseptic methods to kill germs that get near the surgical wounds. Aseptic method aim to stop any germs getting near the surgical wound. ...read more.

Conclusion

Between 1896 and 1898 Antoine Henri Becquerel and Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the first radioactive isotopes. Radioactive isotopes are used in diagnosis as tracers, in radiotherapy and in immunosuppression. Modern Surgery has lead to new methods of Transplants, replacing worn out parts of human body, e.g. joint replacement and prosthetic (artificial limbs). Transplant surgery using donor organs ha usually been the only option. The first organ to be transplanted was the kidney (in 1951), followed by the cornea of the eye. Livers, lungs pancreases and bone marrow are also transplanted. Heart transplants are major surgery, as patients have also additional problems with cardiovascular system and other organs. Surgeon Christian Barnard first carried the Heart Transplant on a patient in December 1967 but the patient survived only 18 days. The major problem in Heart Transplant is rejection, which is when the host's body immune system attacks the implant. Twentieth century warfare tends to produce a higher proportion of burn injuries, which also have led to Plastic surgery. Harold Gillies worked as plastic surgeon in First World War and his work continued in the Second World War by his assistant Archibald McIndoe. Another achievement of modern surgery is Keyhole Surgery, where if there is no need for major operation, treatment is done by only through making a hole on that particular part of the body. Modern surgery has gradually improved to its present condition and is improving day by day. ...read more.

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