Complete notes on Surgery and Anatomy

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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
to altered mental sensations, sometimes done by docs when head
injuries lead to a buildup of pressure inside the skull. So ancient could
have done to treat injury or treat illnesses like epilepsy.
There's evidence saying that skull healed after being drilled into.
Shows surgeons were skilled to not damage brain.
Surgical tools very basic like sharp rocks to make incisions.
Ancient Egypt 3000 ­ 1000 BC
Mummification led to increased anatomical knowledge as people could
see organs they took out during religious ceremonies. Experimental
dissection was not allowed as it meant destroying someone's body
means they wouldn't go afterlife. Limited the knowledge.
Willow used after surgery to treat wounds. Contained salicylic acid, a
mild antiseptic and the original source of aspirin.
Small cuts were made when taking out organs in order to minimise
scarring so couldn't examine it as a whole.
Due to metal workers, surgical tools improved greatly and improved
precision and skill involved in surgical operations.
People would write in papyrus and communicate with other doctors ­
improved knowledge.
The Nile brought The Theory of the Blocked Channels and Egyptians
believed in wehdu which was waste substance travelling in blood: air,
water, faeces, tears, saliva and urine. When it was imbalanced, it
caused diseases. So operation was needed. Evidence shows bandages
were used on wounds, it wasn't known that it stops infection, they just
knew that it stop blood from pouring out.
Supernatural caused were used to explain the cause of disease and so
surgery would have been centred around taking the evil spirits in a
person's body or unblocking the channels.

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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
purging. Hippocratic doctors, who were the doctors who charged,
would base their operations around this theory.
Tools improved and this aided with the precision and skill involved with
surgery.…read more

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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
have a chance to treat these patients. For example if a gladiator
seriously injured their leg and it needed amputation then the surgeons
would be able to learn more about the leg.…read more

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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 paying back for
their sins. This was a commonly adopted theory during The Black Death
of 1348 as well as the miasmic theory which was still going strong.…read more

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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 on
how the body worked. Also the church was declining in power and this
meant that dissections were more common and could take place
without fear of being caught.…read more

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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 time. Paracelsus also said that the body
was controlled by chemicals and another concept which he believed in
was 'signatures'.…read more

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It sometimes affected the heart.
The second problem was infection, often infection spread and then
gangrene would be a result. This would cause such as severe infection
that the limb would need to be amputated and this itself bought
problems. This was tackled by Ignaz Semmelweiss in 1847, he said that
infection would be reduced if doctors and nurses washed their hands
between patients.…read more

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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 soldiers. Xray passes
through soft flesh but less through bones. A scanner rotates 180
around body, aiming thin beams of xrays at receptors on opposite side
of person.…read more

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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 technology.…read more


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