History of surgery evolution: reviewing surgery 200 years ago, we will understand the greatness of modern human medicine.
Have you ever thought about how the operation was carried out more than 200 years ago in your spare time? In that era when there was nothing to be done and there was no basis for predecessors to learn from, those medical scientists could only explore again and again in failure and never stop their pace; In that era when medicine was just beginning, the place for surgery was not worth mentioning compared with modern facilities and sterile environment. In that era, there was no anesthetic, not even a decent scalpel.
From the 19th century to the present 21st century, after the continuous exploration of medical experts in the dark, the surgical medicine developed for 200 years has been gradually improved. But in Europe more than 200 years ago, there were many unimaginable surgical treatments.
According to the records of relevant books in the middle ages of Europe, bloodletting was a very common and even popular surgical method in Europe in the 19th century. No matter what disease you have, just bloodletting is said to cure all diseases. At that time, people generally believed that body fluids needed to be balanced, so as long as they got sick, they could cure the disease by releasing contaminated blood.
The success of the operation 200 years ago depends entirely on the patient’s own luck; Today, 200 years later, we have a fully equipped operating room, responsible and professional medical staff and an absolutely safe operating environment. Looking back, for hundreds of years, human medical progress is far beyond imagination. Now, compared with all aspects of surgery more than 200 years ago, perhaps we can more intuitively realize the greatness of human modern medicine.
Since the establishment of surgical medicine, amputation has existed. It can be said that amputation is the oldest surgery. In that era when surgical medicine was just established, amputation was a nightmare for many people. During amputation, the doctor must quickly pick up the knife and saw to cut off the part to be amputated. At this time, there will be a lot of bleeding at the wound.
You can’t imagine what the hemostatic method is. Press a red soldering iron on the wound. At that time, there was no mature anesthesia technology, and many people had passed out in pain, but it was far from over. The infection caused by the operation can only be a matter of life and death. Amputation surgery has high technical requirements for doctors, but it is inevitable that there are quacks who mistake people. When they encounter it, they can only admit bad luck and beg for a good baby in the next life.
Even Liston, who was called “the fastest knife operator in London” at that time, killed three people during amputation. It is said that Liston’s operation was very fast. In an amputation operation, he cut off the fingers of his surgical assistant because he cut off the knife too quickly. Finally, the assistant died of excessive blood loss.
During the operation, he accidentally cut the patient’s reproductive organs, and then died of infection. Finally, among the audience watching the operation at that time, someone had a heart attack and died. An amputation that killed three people is absurd today, but it was common in those days.
As early as around 3500 ad, Mesopotamians had tried to dissect animals; The ancient Egyptians also dissected the corpse when making mummies. They cut the corpse from the abdomen, took it out except the heart, and buried other organs in the ritual coffin. However, these ancient anatomical cultures are not to explore medical knowledge, but simply worship.
In the middle ages of Europe more than 200 years ago, in that stupid and backward era when medical technology was very underdeveloped, people did not have the means to resist diseases. Once they got sick, the mortality rate was very high. It is precisely because of human’s deep sense of powerlessness in the face of diseases that human beings want to study the internal structure of the human body. However, at the beginning, the practice of directly dissecting the human body was not accepted by the mainstream society at that time, so we can only compare the human body structure by dissecting animals for academic research.
This situation was not alleviated until the Black Death rampant in Europe, resulting in the death of nearly 35 million people in Europe. At that time, due to the underdevelopment of science, it was generally believed that the black death was the punishment of gods for mankind, but what was very different from the idea of ordinary people was that the church began to seek the cause of the black death through a series of practices such as dissecting the human body. The Pope ordered that the causes of the black death be studied by dissecting the bodies of the dead, so as to find out the cause of 35 million deaths. However, because the anatomical theoretical knowledge was not very perfect at that time, this series of operations did not receive any substantive harvest.
It is precisely because of the backward technology that scientists need more autopsies to get a correct understanding. As a result, there was a “corpse boom” in the society at that time. However, due to the small reserves of corpses at that time, it was difficult to ensure the expanding demand. In the process of looking for and dissecting corpses, it undoubtedly pointed out a way to make money for people at that time.
In Britain, a new profession has even emerged – corpse thieves. They steal the bodies of people just buried, and then sell them to research institutions. Americans made corpses through illegal methods. At that time, two brothers opened a hotel to lure and kill innocent pedestrians. During this period, they killed 15 people, which can be described as a “black shop” to the letter. This is the abnormal distorted human nature spawned by noble medical research.
In that era when there was no anesthetic, all the pain was very real. In order to alleviate the pain of patients during treatment, doctors have racked their brains. Some dentists will get the patient drunk or knock him out before the operation in order to relieve the pain during tooth extraction, but this method is only short-term effective after all. Some patients wake up suddenly during the operation because of too much pain.
Later, American dentist Morton found ether by chance because he couldn’t stand the patient’s painful cry. After many personal trials, the world’s first anesthesia operation was successfully carried out under the attention of all sectors of society.
Since then, anesthesiology has become more and more developed and a qualitative leap has taken place. Precise control can be carried out on the location, type and even duration of anesthesia.
Nowadays, compared with more than 200 years ago, medicine in the 21st century has made a qualitative leap. The success rate of surgery is higher and higher, the cost of surgery is lower and lower, and the technology of the surgeon is more and more exquisite… Medical development is like an unattainable mountain. Only when we are high can we see more beautiful scenery.