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Surgery and Anatomy
Prehistoric Pre 3000 BC
Trepanning (cutting holes in people's head) was common and might
have been used for relieving the body of evil spirits which were
thoughT to cause disease or to grant special powers of communication
with spirit world. According to modern evidence, trephining can lead…

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Ancient Greece 800 ­ 400 BC
The Theory of The Four Humours, dominated theories in how the body
works for a very long time. This meant that surgical procedures and
treatments revolved around maintaining and restoring the imbalance
in the humours. To some people this meant bleeding, and sometimes

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Galen removed the infected breastbone from a patient. Also listed
wide range of eye operations he expected a good doc to be able to
carry out.
In addition to this there were gladiators who would constantly fight
and get a lot of injuries; this meant that surgeons and doctors would…

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and purging were very common and this meant that people were
scared to question what had already been established.
Supernatural theories dominated the way people thought and so
instead of seeking surgical help and advice people would be convinced
that it was a punishment from God and so work on…

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Surgical treatments were still few and simple as pain, bleeding and
infection made surgery risky.

Renaissance 1500 ­ 1700 AD
During this period of time many advance took place. For example
people were finally questioning Galen's ideas and this meant that
people could finally move forward from previous incorrect theories…

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Richard Wisemen published a book called 'A Treatise on Wounds', here
he stated that cautery was useful.
Paracelsus openly disagreed with Galen and declared him as 'a liar and
a fake'. He used Laudanum as a painkiller and this continued to be used
as a painkiller for a very long…

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used chloroform as an anaesthetic and it proved to be very successful,
especially after the queen gave royal approval after using chloroform
during the birth of her child. It sometimes affected the heart.
The second problem was infection, often infection spread and then
gangrene would be a result. This would…

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Battles such as the Battle of the Somme allowed for surgeons to
perform complex operations which meant that they could gain a
deeper understanding of anatomy and improve their surgical
The invention of xrays in 1895 by Wilhelm Rontgen meant that bullet
and shrapnel wounds could be detected in…

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aircrafts also helped surgery. Surgical techniques and antibacterial
drugs helped surgery a lot.
Other surgeries which came about included microsurgery which came
as a result of the electron microscope in 1931 and so finally being able
to see capillaries and nerves.
Keyhole surgery was born as a result of improved…


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