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Have time to kill between your 10 Cerebral Bypass Operations today? Check out what was neurosurgery like in the Middle Ages


Neurosurgery in the middle ages was a very primitive and dangerous practice compared to modern standards. During this time period, the human body was not well understood, and the brain and nervous system were considered mysterious and almost mystical. There were few medical treatments available, and surgery was often seen as a last resort.

There is evidence that some basic forms of brain surgery were performed in ancient times, such as trepanation, which involves drilling a hole in the skull. This procedure was believed to release evil spirits and treat a variety of ailments, including headaches and seizures. However, it is unclear how widespread or successful these procedures were.

During the middle ages, there were very few trained physicians, and surgery was typically performed by barber-surgeons or other untrained individuals. There were no anesthetics or antiseptics, so surgeries were extremely painful and often led to infection and death. Surgeons used crude instruments such as knives, saws, and hooks, and would often cauterize wounds with heated irons to stop bleeding.

There are some recorded instances of brain surgery being performed during the middle ages, such as the removal of tumors or foreign objects from the brain. However, these procedures were extremely risky and had a very low success rate. Patients who survived the surgery often suffered from serious complications, including infections, paralysis, and seizures.

Overall, neurosurgery in the middle ages was a crude and dangerous practice that was rarely successful. It wasn’t until the development of modern medicine and surgical techniques in the 19th and 20th centuries that neurosurgery became a safer and more effective form of medical treatment.


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