Surgical Treatment of the Breast from the Hippocratics to the Reinassance
Keywords:Cancer, Apostema, Antispasis, Surgical instruments, Trotula
AbstractThis contribution aims to survey maladies of the female (and occasionally male) breast requiring surgical intervention from Greco-Roman (hereafter classical) times through the Middle Ages. My survey is based on a selection of authors I consider most representative. Special attention will be given to the instruments and paraphernalia used in therapy and, when convenient, to appropriate pharmaceutical applications employed in conjunction. My investigation finds that in the main the same maladies (e.g. menstrual issues, various ulcers and growths) were treated throughout this period with the same or similar therapies and with basically the same equipment. However, medieval sources do occasionally attest conditions not mentioned in classical sources (e.g. inverted nipples) and sometimes employ new names for the equipment used.
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