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History of trepanation

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Trepanation or craniotomy is a surgical practice carried out for centuries to gain access to the brain by a split in the skull. It was for medical or religious reasons. Discover when was carried out.
Trepanation, now known as craniotomy, is a surgical practice carried out for centuries. This technique is a way to gain access to the brain, through a split in the skull, consisting of cuts in it, made with square shape or playing a few holes.
Today, the mere mention of a Burr or craniotomy causes still some unrest, insecurity and even fear, despite all the scientific advances and the experience that has on it, since it is practiced for centuries.
This technique was used in ancient times for medical reasons (tumors, epilepsy...) and for religious reasons (the bones of the cárneo used in religious rituals, etc).
The Egyptians were the pioneers in applying this type of interventions carried out in a rather rudimentary way, with scarce hygiene measures and without anesthesia. In Egypt they were fragments of bone from the skull, using them as religious amulets. The sovereign had the custom to perform trepanation when they were about to die so that his soul might leave his body. Was this action the court physician, helped by "The hemostatic", he said that it was a person whose only act of presence in the room where the operation was performed was able to stop the bleeding of the patient.

Science or religion?

If trepanation was due to medical causes, it took place because the patient was suffering from very strong pain in the head, usually due to a tumor. The doctor, with a hammer-like object, hit different parts of the head until the person was screaming with pain, thus indicating to the physician the area where the tumor was. The apparatus used for sectioning the skull called Burr (hence the name of this technique).
In the past not everyone could undergo a trepanation, only certain families had this privilege, as the Pharaohs.
All cash looks like science fiction, but we must not forget that the main goal of this technique and its executors (except religious), was in origin to keep alive those who relied on his skill, doing all that was possible to save them. The Egyptians have been therefore the forerunners of what with the passing of the years and the advancement of technology, is part of science that is practiced today renowned neurosurgeons at the most prestigious hospitals.
Published for educational purposes
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