One of the first surgical procedures to gain acceptance was the Caesarian Section, where a baby is delivered through an incision instead of the normal birth canal.
Caesarian Section in 1666
There was a belief in the Middle Ages that blood could hold negative "humors" and that the cure was to drain the bad blood from the body. Not surprisingly, many patients died from the "cure."
Here the unfortunate patient is being operated on in two different places, probably without the benefit of anaesthetic.
Early breast surgery.
Surgical knowledge had to be taught to new generations of doctors so special operating theaters were developed to allow the witnessing of common procedures. Here, we see such a group in 1707.
This satirical cartoon depicts an amputation.
One problem with surgery is how to replace blood lost during the procedure. Here we see Blundell's Gravitator for Blood Transfusions being used in 1829.
During wartimes, a surgeon had to bring their tools with them. Here we see the surgical instrument case from the 19th Century.
A group of doctors and nurses witness an eye surgery.
Operating room in 1942.
A "modern" operating room. It was only through the work of Joseph Lister that doctors came to understand the importance of antiseptics to control infection. Sterile environments like this greatly increased the survivability of many procedures.
Surgery in 1922
Eventually, some surgical procedures were carried out just because they could be. For many years, parents had their children's tonsils removed just in case sometime in the future they could cause problems. Here we see a tonsillectomy in 1915.
Dr.George Crile Sr.'s 25,000th Goiter Operation.
Of course today, we are much more modern in our thinking about medical operations. I don't know about you, but I might have qualms about having a robot perform my next brain surgery!