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The Origins Of Modern Surgery

Crucial Interventions

Crucial Interventions is a new book that compiles images of surgeries from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This was before anesthetic when patients were operated on when they were completely conscious. Most people died from surgeries.


Tongue Cancer

This image is of a surgery to remove cancer of the tongue. The tongue was cut in half, the tumor removed and then the tongue was stitched back together again, all without numbing.


1841 Mouth Surgery

This image is from 1841 of a mouth being reconstructed to prevent diseases. Numbing agents were invented in 1865.


Cesarian Section

Yes, cesarian sections were performed without anesthesia. The death rate from these operations was as high as 80 percent in some London hospitals.


Surgical Tools

These were the tools commonly used for surgeries and operations during this time period. Most are crude knives and saws.

We’re all thankful to the advances in modern medicine.



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