Hippocrates to Harrison : Surgery introduction


HIPPOCRATES TO HARRISON


Introduction
Classical Works
Anaesthesia
Surgery
Anatomy
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Internal Medicine
Pathology
Infection and Immunity
Neurology and Psychiatry
Public Health
Tropical Medicine
Therapeutics
Evolution and Genetics
Physiology
Authors A to Z
Who was Harrison?
Contacts











Surgery

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During most of recorded time surgeons dared not invade the body cavities and their patients were often doomed by shock or infection despite the technical success of a procedure. Even so, many lives were saved by drainage of abscesses and amputation of shattered or gangrenous limbs. Speed was essential in pre-anaesthetic surgery and the most accomplished operators were those with the best grasp of anatomy.

Ambroise Pare's renowned book, exhibited here bound together with Spigelius' anatomical atlas, summarised the accumulated experience of surgeons from ancient times to the beginning of the Renaissance. Virtually all of the great anatomists whose works are shown in the next case were also active in surgical practice.

Many gave their names to anatomical features, others to the operations or instruments they devised, but the emergence of modern surgery followed understanding of function as well as form. Surgeons also led the development of physiology, turning their technical attention to animal experimentation, though not without opposition from the "anti-vivisectors".