Leilani

By Leilani

LifeBuzz Staff

Morbidly Fascinating Drawings Reveal The True Horror Of Victorian Surgery.

"Crucial Interventions: An Illustrated Treatise on the Principles & Practice of Nineteenth-Century Surgery" by medical historian Richard Barnett is now available for purchase. It's the perfect read for anyone interested in the history of surgery or macabre art.

Readers warn, "[This book is] not for the faint of heart," while raving about the level of detail in the illustrations. The illustrations, which critics are calling the book's most striking feature, are reproductions of images found in Henry Wellcome's 19th-century medical antiquity collection.

Wellcome, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur who lived through the Victorian era, was fascinated by the historical development of medicine around the world. So, he traveled often and collected artifacts to feed his curiosities.

There are some surgical practices that have remained more or less the same—though it might not seem like it as we are not always shown the gory details—and there are others that have evolved with the introduction of new tools and anesthetics.

Here are some of the powerful illustrations included in "Crucial Interventions."

These images are not meant to ridicule the past but rather to illuminate the role of surgeons in history, with a focus on the Victorian era.

Robert Liston, a Scottish surgeon known for his quick amputations, is shown removing a patient's leg. Some of his amputations were done in about two minutes. This particular image features one of the first British operations performed with anesthesia.

These images are not meant to ridicule the past but rather to illuminate the role of surgeons in history, with a focus on the Victorian era.

The Wellcome Collection 2015

Surgical tools from the 19th century.

Surgical instruments included saws, knives and shears, which were used for amputation, bone and organ operations, and more.

Surgical tools from the 19th century.

The Wellcome Collection 2015

Vertical cross section of the brain.

Today, successful surgeons must have a strong scientific basis. They must be experts in anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology, and they should also be open to new findings.

A requirement that has never changed is dexterity and courage despite seeing parts of the body in ways most of us never will.

Vertical cross section of the brain.

The Wellcome Collection 2015

The book features every surgery imaginable.

Here's an image depicting surgery to correct strabismus involving the division of the internal rectus.

The book features every surgery imaginable.

The Wellcome Collection 2015

A surgeon works on a patient with tongue cancer.

The surgeon slices the tongue, removes the affected area, and stitches the organ back into place.

A surgeon works on a patient with tongue cancer.

The Wellcome Collection 2015

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