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Surgery is such an important skill in the world and people rely on surgeons to save lives each and every day. Some people don’t realize that humans have been performing surgery for a very long time. The history of surgery is quite interesting and it continues to be written today. Read on to explore a brief history of surgery. 

Early Examples of Surgery

All the way back in 6,500 BC, there were examples of humans performing different types of surgeries. Skulls have been found in France that show that people were drilling holes in skulls back then. Rudimentary types of surgery were performed throughout the ancient world and eventually, barbers started offering surgeries in 1540. These barbers would give people tooth extractions and would also offer bloodletting services. 

Surgery in the 1800s

Surgery in the 1800s was a bit different and things started to move forward a bit. In 1818, the very first human blood transfusion was performed. 1843 saw the first hysterectomy as well as the first known use of ether as an anesthetic. Later on in the 1800s, the first successful heart surgery was performed and humanity started using x-ray technology. 

Huge Advances in the 1900s

Huge advances occurred during the 1900s, with the first cornea transplant taking place in 1905. In 1917, the first instance of plastic surgery was performed on a burned English sailor. This century saw the first successful organ transplants, the first sex-change surgery, and the first hip replacement surgeries, not to mention in vitro fertilization procedures, laparoscopic surgery techniques, robotic surgeries, and even hand transplants. It’s astounding to see how much progress was made by humanity in the field of medicine and surgery during the 1900s. 

The 2000s and Beyond

The 2000s have continued the advances in human medical knowledge. Full face transplants have been performed during this century, and nerve transfer procedures are now available to help paraplegic patients. Robotic surgeries have become more advanced and the potential for AI to assist human surgeons is enormous. Time will tell just how advanced human surgical capabilities will become by the end of this century.