Essay on 19th-Century Surgery

Essay on 19th-Century Surgery

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19th-Century Surgery


There were no real monumental changes in surgery techniques for the first half of the nineteenth century. In fact, before 1846, the only change in surgical practices was that the newer surgeons had a greater knowledge of anatomy and pathology. Surgery during this half of the century was a horrible experience that was only turned to as a last resort. Many people would choose to commit suicide rather than live through the agony of surgery, and the suffering afterwards. Operations were very brief and were accompanied by great pain. Generally the patient would be held down screaming, while the doctor performed whatever surgery was necessary. At this point in history, surgery would have been very different from what it is today. Rather than the scalpel and surgeons mask, the doctor would use a tool like a hacksaw to cut through the bone in the area being amputated. It was not until the discovery of effective anesthesia that surgery became a relatively common phenomenon. The word Anesthesia is from greek, and means "without sensibility".

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