12th Century Surgery.

This late 12th century English painting depicts various surgical procedures for hemorrhoids, nose polyps, and cataract!

The surgeries shown above are pretty dramatic, especially when you consider how often patients died from infections. How much pain would you have to be in to put up with this kind of treatment? But the alternatives were blindness or hemorrhaging. Patients needed some kind of relief or they faced serious problems.

Medieval surgery could be brutal and it rarely cured anyone, but it was better than the alternative. A person with a disability was no longer considered a productive member of their community - which often meant a life of begging. Because disabilities were considered a sign of imperfection, the Church frequently denied religious rites to people with disabilities, guaranteeing they would never go to heaven and everlasting life.

Yikes! http://www.rcep7.org/%7Eorient/history/hist04.htm - via Scribal Terror

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