The Art of The Artery
This image comes from an 1841 medical textbook and shows the procedure of an artery being sewn back up after a blockage was removed from a major vein in the groin. Oh, you noticed that date? Yup – that means this patient did NOT enjoy the pleasure of a general anesthesia.
Keep reading to see how they did mastectomies back in the old days!
Believe it or not, people have been performing mastectomies to combat breast cancer since as early as the 6th century AD, when the procedure was suggested to the Byzantine Empress Theodora by the court physician. In the image above, a medieval diagram shows the (VERY crude) procedure involved in an early mastectomy. Yikes.
Contraptions like the ones in the illustrations above were used in the 19th century to put pressure on major arteries, effectively slowing the bleeding of patients during surgery. This was a great win for blood loss, which was a huge problem in surgery leading up to this invention.