Until fairly recently, tonsillectomy was quite a common procedure – and for many children their first experience of surgery. Because it’s a straightforward operation, doctors would often recommend that children had their tonsils out even if they had had only a few minor bouts of tonsillitis. It was even used as a precautionary measure: many of the child migrants to … Read more
John Harrison Curtis was a prominent nineteenth-century specialist in diseases of the eyes and ears who became an intimate of the royal family. He was also, according to some, a quack. The sixth edition of his medical bestseller, A Treatise on the Physiology and Pathology of the Ear (1836) contains this ingenious invention:
This chair is intended for the benefit … Read more
In 1888 the great American surgeon Rudolph Matas saved the life of a patient who had been shot in the arm. The operation was a significant moment in the evolution of vascular surgery, since it introduced an entirely new technique for dealing with aneurysm – a condition in which an artery wall is weakened and balloons outwards.
What astonishes me … Read more