Surgery before and after the discovery of anesthesia

William Silen, Elizabeth A.M. Frost

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long before the advent of anesthesia, operations relied on a detailed knowledge of anatomy gained by dissection of the dead. Morton's demonstration of ether anesthesia on 16 Oct 1846 made planned surgery possible, that is surgery in a silent motionless patient. Thus began the era of the great surgeons of Europe (Billroth, Kocher, Torek) and the US (Sims, Halsted, Cushing). Supporting discoveries added to the advances: Lister used antisepsis with carbolic acid spray (1867); Macewen intubated the trachea (1870s); Roentgen discovered X-rays (1895); Landsteiner identified blood groups (1900) and Domagk synthesized sulfonamides (1932).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wondrous Story of Anesthesia
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages163-183
Number of pages21
Volume9781461484417
ISBN (Electronic)9781461484417
ISBN (Print)1461484405, 9781461484400
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Anesthesia and history of surgery
  • Antisepsis in surgery, history
  • Billroth, surgeon
  • History of surgery
  • Roentgen and the discovery of X-rays
  • Surgery before anesthesia

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