19th Century Neurosurgical Instruments

480_neurosurgical-set

This German neurosurgical set is dated to the early 19th century, when brain surgery meant boring holes with hand drills and slicing parts of the brain that doctors didn’t quite understand.
Around the central trepanning brace there are two fixed hand held trephines, two detachable handles and trephines attachments, a scalpel, Hey saw, elevator, brush, scissor handled spreaders, a starter trephine and two raspatories.

If it wasn’t labelled, I would have guessed this was a set of instruments of torture. Link -via Retrospectacle

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Brain surgery hasn't come to far from these prehistoric implements. Now the trephinning is done by drill and is so modern. Drill at lest 3 hole in the skull; connect them with a cutting drill with a stop to prevent it from digging into the brain; and pop off the skull flap with a wedge and we have access to the brain. Mind those hands so we don't have any excess brain damage.
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There are a fair number of people (even Westerners) who still believe in trepanning to cure a variety of ills... It's actually rather mild compared to all the "routine" lobotomies which were performed into the late 20th century.
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