Archeological studies reveal that humans splinted fractures and operated on skulls. Other than dealing with wounds or fractures, early surgeons carried out three types of operative procedures – circumcision, trephination and lithotomy. The first two procedures are the most ancient, for it is hypothesised they were undertaken between 10 000 and 15 000 years ago. Circumcision was a religious, fertility or initiation rite or ritual and trephination was done for mystical as well as therapeutic purposes. In contrast, lithotomy commenced much later, between the 4th and 5th centuries BCE and therefore did not occur prehistorically. However, it is the first operation that was performed to relieve a specific surgical condition.
Hamlin, Lois RN, DNurs, FACN, Foundation Fellow ACORN
"The first three procedures that marked the dawn of surgery,"
Journal of Perioperative Nursing: Vol. 34
, Article 1.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.26550/2209-1092.1154
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