Abstract elective surgery requires planned incisions and incisions require appropriate blades in the prehistoric era division of the umbilical cord and other minor procedures were probably undertaken with human teeth and nails and later with plant animal and mineral substitutes as witnessed by studies of primitive societies still surviving or recently extinct. Although individual types of surgical instruments have occasionally been the subject of historical research and publication this magisterial book is the first to give a detailed overview of the entire history of surgical instrumentation in the english literature only one book has previously attempted this. The evolution of surgical instruments an illustrated history from ancient times to the twentieth century john kirkup md frcs honorary curator historic instrument collection royal college of surgeons of england with a foreword by james m edmonson phd chief curator dittrick medical history center historyofsciencecom novato california 2006. The only prior work on the subject c j s thompson s the history and evolution of surgical instruments 1942 attempted to cover the entire history in only 113 pages elisabeth bennion s antique medical instruments 1979 concentrated chiefly upon the aesthetic aspects of medical and surgical instruments to 1870. The evolution of surgical instruments is the first comprehensive work on the subject published in over sixty years and arguably the most important general history of surgical instruments ever published the only prior work on the subject c j s thompsons the history and evolution of surgical instruments 1942 attempted
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