Surgical history: everything you wanted to know
Paul Craddock unravels the delicate yet dangerous history of surgery – from the folk practices of ancient Mesopotamia right up to transformative modern-day developments
Why was a transfusion of lamb’s blood believed to cure epilepsy? What surgical procedures could you get in ancient Egypt? And were medieval surgical practitioners really a help to patients – or a hindrance? Speaking with Emily Briffett, Paul Craddock unravels the long history of surgery, from its ancient roots right up to recent developments that have changed the practice forever, including antiseptics, antibiotics and lessons learned from farmers and embroiderers.
Emily is HistoryExtra’s podcast editorial assistant. Before joining the BBC History team in 2021, Emily graduated with an MA in Public History from Royal Holloway, University of London