Did Surgery Improve in the Middle Ages?

Did Surgery Improve in the Middle Ages?

Unlike many medical aspects of the Middle Ages, surgery did actually improve. It was mainly conducted by ‘barber surgeons'-men who worked as butchers or barbers and learned how to perform surgery on people; not trained doctors. During the Middle Ages, battle and wars were very common, and so this meant that surgeons were very much in demand, therefore their skills did actually improve.

We can form this opinion, because in Source A, it states that ‘John Bradmore designed metal forceps to pass through the cheek would, hold onto the arrow and pull it out. He held the wound open with sticks covered in honey soaked cloth (to keep the infection away). After removing the arrow, the wound was smeared with honey and barley and healed well”. Bradmore was a Royal Surgeon, and performed this operation on 14 year old Prince Harry that was wounded with an arrow. This backs up our original point, which was that surgery did improve, because he designed them himself, which obviously took skill and knowledge which can be obviously applied to other areas of medical expertise. They had more medical knowledge than in previous time periods for example Egyptians, because they ‘held the wood open with sticks covered in honey soaked cloth’ intentionally, to keep the infection away; it wasn't a fluke or guess.

Also, in Source B, it says that ‘they mainly learned how to perform simple surgery on people. They mainly performed simple surgery such as amputation, trephining, blood letting, removing tumours/teeth/cataracts from eyes’. This is an improvement from the standards of surgery in the Egyptian era for example; in the Middle Ages they progressed from simple surgery, which they still did, to conducting more complex operations, like removing teeth and cataracts from eyes. This shows progression, because the operations grew trickier and more difficult to undertake.

It says in Source C that “My father used to heal almost every kind of wound with wine alone and it worked”....

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