History of surgery

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Surgery today owes much to the services of early practitioners who made their advances as a result of wide clinical experience and compassion.

Noted surgeons

Percivall Pott was born in 1714 in east London. Pott was apprenticed to Nourse of St. Bartholomew's Hospital at 15 years of age. After gaining licence to practise in 1736, Pott remained as surgeon to the hospital from 1745 till his retirement aged 73. After falling from his horse in 1756, Pott sustained a fracture of his leg, confining him to bed. During this time, he wrote on his own fracture, as well as hernia and head injuries. Several diseases are named after him, viz. Pott's fracture, Pott's puffy tumour, and Pott's disease of the spine. He was the first to describe cancer of the scrotum in chimney sweepers, as the earliest occupational cancer.

BBC History of Surgery This page will take you through some key points in the history of surgery and then concentrate on the work of Amboise Paré. His work covers some important themes including: war, the part that chance played in medical advancements and the importance of the individual.


A History of Western Medicine and Surgery

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