DISSECTION

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Galen of Pergamon performed experiments on live monkeys and dissected dead monkeys and pigs but Avicenna instead did dissection of human bodies as Herophilus had done in 3rd century BC Alexandria.
Ahmad ibn Abi al-Ash’ath in 959 dissected a lion’s stomach while the lion was still alive.
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BYZANTINE BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE

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In 512 a book on plants known as Juliana’s codex was published in the Byzantine Empire.
Paulos of Aegina (Paul of Aegina) was a 7th century Byzantine Empire physician who wrote a medical encyclopedia, 2 volumes of which were on surgery. Muslim surgeon al-Zahrawi (Albucasis), whom Muslims claim was the “father of modern surgery”, obtained much of his knowledge of surgery from this Christian encyclopedia.
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EARLY MUSLIM MEDICINE

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The 7th century Byzantine Empire physician Paul of Aegina copied a Hindu medical encyclopedia Sushruta Samhita procedure of using the blunt end of a couching needle to push cataracts away from the front of the eye.
In tenth century Iraq, Ammar bin Ali Al Mawsili read about the suction method of cataract removal invented by the 2nd century Greek physician named Antyllus.
Muslims copied procedures such as the use of opium as an anaesthetic from the Byzantines.
Muslims invented procedures such as the use of amulets to cure diseases, and interpreted dreams to predict the future.
Al-Kindi’s incense cure for asthma made the condition worse.
end of synopsis > Continue reading EARLY MUSLIM MEDICINE

AL-RAZI

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The modern mercury anti-infective is safer than that which al-Razi borrowed from the Chinese.
Al-Razi ridiculed all religions as being superstitions.
Al-Razi studied the symptoms of smallpox.
He had read the alchemy of Geber, but did not know about sulfuric acid. This is evidence that the books about sulfuric acid were written centuries later by a Christian using the pseudonym of Geber.
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MUSLIM EYE SURGERY

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Al-Zahrawi (936 – 1013) used the same procedure for removing cataracts that earlier Muslim doctors had copied from the Hindus and Byzantines.
He made some improvements to the Hindu and Byzantine plastic surgery on eyebrows and eyelids. Al-Zahrawi designed an instrument to hold up the upper eyelid while examining the eye.
The late 10th century Muslim eye physician Jesus the Oculist was the first to discover the symptoms of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, and the first to describe temporal arteritis.
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AL-ZAHRAWI

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Al-Zahrawi copied most of bis medical procedures and medical instruments from the Romans and Byzantines
Al-Zahrawi was not the first to write that hemophilia ran in families. Jews knew this in the 2nd century.
Al-Zahrawi’s leverage method for treating dislocated shoulders was depicted in a 1200 BC wall painting in an Egyptian tomb. Al-Zahrawi was not the first to use cotton to stop bleeding and was not the first to put broken arms into casts.
He did, however, invent a procedure, using a red-hot needle, to create a pathway to divert urine to the anus.
end of synopsis > Continue reading AL-ZAHRAWI

GALLSTONES, KIDNEY STONES, HERNIA AND OB/GYN

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Aulus Cornelius Celsus (1st century), and the Hindu surgeon Susruta produced early descriptions of bladder stone treatment using perineal lithotomy.
Paulus Aegineta (7th-century Byzantine Greek physician) wrote “Medical Compendium in Seven Books” which gave a summary of medical knowledge and was unrivaled in its accuracy and completeness.
The procedure described by al-Zahrawi to remove kidney stones is almost word for word identical to the procedure he borrowed from the medical encyclopedia written by the Byzantine surgeon Paulus of Aegina except al-Zahrawi used a forceps instead of a scoop and chisel to break up the stones.
Al-Zahrawi was not the first to perform a cesarean section.
Al-Zahrawi was, however, the first to describe ectopic pregnancy.
end of synopsis > Continue reading GALLSTONES, KIDNEY STONES, HERNIA AND OB/GYN

MUSLIM PLASTIC SURGERY AND TRACHEOTOMY

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Al-Zahrawi did not invent the procedures he used to fix broken noses and to perform plastic surgery on the nose and earlobes. The Sushruta Samhita medical encyclopedia of India, the 1st century Roman “De Medicina” medical encyclopedia of Aulus Cornelius Celsus, and the 4th century Byzantine Roman physician Oribasius in his 70-volume medical encyclopedia “Synagogue Medicae” (Medical Compilations) all described how to repair broken noses.
Al-Zahrawi did not invent tonsillectomy surgery. It was performed in the 1st century by Aulus Cornelius Celsus, and probably earlier in India.
Al-Zahrawi was not the first to perform surgery on enlarged thyroid glands.
end of synopsis > Continue reading MUSLIM PLASTIC SURGERY AND TRACHEOTOMY

AVICENNA

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Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā) (980 – 1037) was a Shia Sevener (Ismaili).
He frequently drank wine, and claimed it helped him to think more clearly. A religious argument he had with a military commander resulted in an order that he be executed, so he hid at a friend’s house.
He was not the “father of modern medicine”.
Avicenna wrote a 14 volume medical book titled “Canon of Medicine” that later became a standard reference text in Europe.
Avicenna’s book probably largely copied from a medical encyclopedia written by his teacher al-Masihi (970 -1010), who was a Persian Christian physician. (Most of the Christian physicians of pre-Muslim Persia had studied the medicine of Galen of Pergamon and had ancestors who came from the Byzantine Empire.
Avicenna described many diseases, fear of heights, and aromatherapy.
He thought that tuberculosis was caused by an imbalance of the humors, and treated it with bloodletting.
He treated cancer with an herb known in ancient times.
Avicenna wrote that heavy breathing can cause humidity inside the head, which causes mood disorders. [Perhaps this is his description of what we now call sinus headaches.]
He thought that some diseases were caused by the alignment of the planets.
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AVICENNA (IBN-SINA) AND MENINGITIS

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Avicenna (Ibn-Sīnā) diagnosed meningitis (swelling of the membrane surrounding the brain or spinal cord) in the 11th century. His successful treatment was a
Craniectomy operation which removed part of the skull to give a swelling brain room to expand. This operation had been performed in ancient times.
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12TH THROUGH 14TH CENTURIES MEDICINE

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In 12th century Muslim Spain, the physician Ibn Zuhr rediscovered that scabies was caused by a barely visible mite.
Ibn Zuhr may have been the first to write about inflammation of the membranous sac surrounding the heart.
Ibn Zuhr attached a diamond to an earlier device used for cutting and crushing kidney stones.
Ibn Zuhr trained 2 of his daughters to be gynecologists.
Ibn Tufail copied from Aristotle the theory that humans knowledge comes only from experience and perception, and wrote a story about a child raised by wild animals.
Surgeons in Muslim Spain used mercuric chloride to eat away dead flesh (a very bad idea both because it is poisonous and because it kills healthy flesh).
The Turkish surgeon Serafeddin Sabuncuoglu (1385 – 1470) had an illustration of female surgeons in his medical book.
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