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Creepy Images of Surgeries Done Before Modern Medicine

at5:27 pm | By

Nobody Likes Going To The Doctor

Unless you have the coolest doctor in the world, you probably have some anxiety about visiting your doctors office. I mean, if you’re going in for a checkup, there’s always the possibility of bad news, but regardless of the outcome, the experience is awkward at best. And let’s be honest, who likes sitting on that crinkly paper, am I right?

But if you’re going in for some sort of surgical procedure, it’s a no-brainer that the fear-of-doctor is amplified exponentially. But imagine if you needed this operation in 1840, before modern medicine and still years before anesthesia was used in practice. Most procedures were done while you were conscious – you probably feel a LOT better about your next procedure now.

Creepy Images of Surgeries Done in The 17th Century


The following images are not for the faint of heart – these scientific drawings of various medical procedures from centuries past, before the dawn of modern science, are both fascinating and bone-chilling.

Think you’ve got the stomach? Read on to see what your great-great grandparents thought of when they thought “doctor.”

I Mean, Look What They Were Working With

Creepy Images of Surgeries Done in The 17th Century


Pro-tip: if you’re ever time-traveling and find yourself needing emergency surgery in 1812: JUST DON’T DO IT. The risks involved with undergoing surgery back then, and the chance of infection thanks to their disgustingly dirty tools, were so high that you’re better off just slowly dying from whatever is wrong with you than letting a doctor hack you up.

I’m being dramatic, but really. It was pretty bad.

19th Century Amputation Technique

Creepy Images of Surgeries Done in The 17th Century


Pictured here is an amputation technique diagram from a medical manual dating back to the 19th century. The stages of the diagram indicate how to cut through the various types of material you’ll encounter in the body – although what it really boils down to is you gotta hack that sucker off.

When surgical capabilities were more crude, amputation was a much more common procedure than it is today. Diabetes, poor circulation, and bad flesh infections are just a few examples of relatively common ailments that, back in the day, would have landed you in a situation like our poor guy in featured in the diagram.