Timeline of Surgery . December 22, 2010. Minoans practice trephination c. 2500. This skull, excavated at Jericho in 1958 (tomb 88), shows 4 trephination holes at different stages of healing. One hole is almost completely healed. . Galen learns surgery by repairing gladiators' wounds - c. 157.
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December 22, 2010
Cauterisation with a hot iron (cautery) was an important surgical technique. It was used to open abscesses and boils, arrest bleeding, burn skin tumours and haemorrhoids, treat epilepsy, stroke and melancholy. In patients who suffered recurrent dislocations, the cautery was used to produce scar tissue which permanently immobilised the joints.
Public dissection was spectacle, instruction, and edification all in one. It was sometimes staged in a church or municipal building, and usually in winter since cold slowed putrefaction. The abdominal cavity was the first to be exposed because it decayed the fastest. This was followed by the thorax (chest) and brain. Often, a robed physician sat on a dais reading from an anatomical text by Galen (although he never dissected humans), while a surgeon performed the dissection and a teaching assistant pointed out notable features.
As well as being first master of the Company of Surgeons, gall against evil spirits. When he eventually returned home, Tobias threw the fish gall into his father's eyes with the words, Be of good hope, my father'. The severe smarting caused Tobit to rub his eyes during which the whiteness' peeled away and he could see. The vigorous rubbing rather than the fish gall may have loosened Tobit's opaque lens from its supporting tissues, a not uncommon occurrence in mature cataracts. An early 20th century version of fish gall was sugar, described in the memoirs of a Jewish immigrant from Russia whose mother blew it into the eyes of his grandmother. She was never again troubled with cataract'.Vicary was also appointed governor of St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, in 1548 and a ward was named after him. His code of practice for surgeons included keeping their patients' secrets, helping the poor as well as rich, not coveting any woman in a patient's house, not being a drunkard or so desirous of money to take in hande those cures that be uncurable...' However, he required patients to obey his orders however unpleasant, for he can not be called a pacient, unlesse he be a sufferer'.
The reduction of fractures and dislocations were a case in point. In his surgical textbook, the Dutch surgeon, Paul Barbette (d. before 1675), did not trouble to describe the technique since it is better learnt by the frequent view of Practice than by Reading'.