Al Zahrawi: The Father of Modern Surgery

Al Zahrawi: The Father of Modern Surgery

Elgohary, Mohamerd Amin 

Annals of Pediatric Surgery, Vol 2, No 2 (2006)

Introduction: When reviewing most contemporary article on medicine; it becomes noticeable that the period that extends from Greco-Roman times and the modern era are commonly over-looked, giving the appearance that during this period nothing worthy of mention happened in medicine. In Europe, this period is usually referred to as the Dark Ages, in which the great era of the Greco-Roman medicine came to an end and no progress in medical science was made until the Renaissance. However, in the East, the firm establishment of the Moslem supremacy coincided with the development of botany, pharmacy and chemistry, branches of science that the Moslem world is given credit for having established. Between the ninth and the sixteenth centuries, the study of medicine and other branches of science revived and acquired a scientific basis.

Among many Moslem scholars who shared in enlightening the path of medical human knowledge is “Alzahrawi” who is regarded as the father of modern surgery, and rightfully so. He was a great surgeon, a pioneer in surgical innovation and a great teacher whose comprehensive medical texts had shaped the European surgical procedures up until the renaissance and later. He devoted his life and lifework to his patients and students. None of his contemporary medieval surgeons could be compared to him and the entire famous renaissance surgeon had quoted him. No doubt he was the chief of all surgeons.

To appreciate more the value of Alzahrawi it is worth noticing that surgery at that time in Europe was belittled and practiced by barbers and butchers and the Council of Tours declared the following resolution: “Surgery is to be abandoned by the schools of medicine and by all decent physicians”.

This article shed a light about the place he was born in the city where he lived, the hospitals where he practiced his most useful contributions to the art of surgery.

Click here to read this article from the Annals of Pediatric Surgery


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