What Kind Of Surgery Did Tudor Doctors Do?


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Kath Senior Profile
Kath Senior answered
Although Tudor doctors did not have drugs or very advanced diagnostic techniques, or any antiseptics or painkillers or anaesthetics, this did not stop them becoming quite accomplished surgeons. People who were operated on must have suffered terrible pain, but the surgeon carried on, undeterred.

Tudor barber surgeons still found the old medieval technique of trepanning quite useful for patients who complained of headaches. They drilled a hole into the skull to let the 'badness' out. This may have cured the headache, or made it worse, but the patients probably never dared complain again.

Rhinoplasty, or nose surgery was also popular. As well as false noses made of metal and papier mache, barber surgeons also had a go at fixing bits of skin onto noses from other parts of the body. If your nose had been disfigured by a large boil or sore, this could be have seemed a good idea. However, the operations very rarely worked. The fixed-on skin usually dropped off later. The whole idea of cosmetic surgery took nearly another 400 years to really develop.

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