Trepanning, and you thought blood letting sucked

Ever hear of trepanning? Well count today your lucky day. Also called burr holing, it’s the oldest surgical method known to man.

Archeologist have found skulls as old as 6,500 BCE with evidence of trepanning holes in their skulls.

Trepanning is “is a medical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull, exposing the dura mater in order to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases. It may also refer to any “burr” hole created through other body surfaces, including nail beds. It is often used to relieve pressure beneath a surface. A trephine is an instrument used for cutting out a round piece of skull bone.”

Check out the doctor in the image above. Do you think he was the inspiration for the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz?

Wouldn’t it have shown greater knowledge and power if god would have shown that this was a bogus method of health care since folks were doing this at the same time the bible was being written? It could have saved a lot of lives.

I can honestly say there are only two things I love about trepanning. 1) It’s not done any longer. 2) It gave us this great poster from the late great Hieronymus Bosch (love his work).

One thought on “Trepanning, and you thought blood letting sucked

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