19th Century Illustrations for the Surgical Removal of Unwanted Parts of the Human Body

"I didn't expect to recover from my second operation but since I did, I consider that I'm living on borrowed time" - Henri Matisse

Many of the colour lithographs below were created for US surgeon Joseph Pancoast’s (November 23, 1805 – March 6, 1882) 1844 book A Treatise on Operative Surgery. The blurb tells us: “A treatise on operative surgery comprising a description of the various processes of the art, including all the new operations; exhibiting the state of surgical science in is present advanced condition; with eighty plates containing four-hundred and eighty-six separate illustrations.” These images are for the book’s second edition of 1846, for which they were “enlarged”. Other images can be found in the 1848 work Précis iconographique de médecine opératoire et d’anatomie chirurgicale by Claude Bernard (1813-1878). They are captivating and unsettling.

 

Plate LXVII. Surgical technique for lithotomy (the removal of a bladder stone). Bilateral and vesico-rectal operation.

Plate LXVI. Surgical technique for lithotomy.

Plate XLIX. Surgery to correct strabismus, involving the division of the internal rectus of the right eye. Strabismus is the misalignment of the eyes.

Plate XLIX. Surgery to correct strabismus, involving the division of the internal rectus of the right eye. Strabismus is the misalignment of the eyes.

Plate XXXIV. Surgical instruments used for external urethrotomy in prostatectomy (removal of part of the prostate gland).

Plate XXXIV. Surgical instruments used for external urethrotomy in prostatectomy (removal of part of the prostate gland).

Removing the placenta and umbilical cord after birth

Removing the placenta and umbilical cord after birth. Abbildungen aus dem Gesammtgebiete der theoretisch-praktischen Geburtshülfe, nebst beschreibender Erklärung derselben / Nach dem Französischen des Maygrier bearbeitet und mit Anmerkungen versehen von Eduard Casp. Jac. von Siebold – 1829

Plate XLVIII. Illustration of surgery on the eye for the removal of a cataract. Operation by extraction - inferior section of the cornea.

Plate XLVIII. Illustration of surgery on the eye for the removal of a cataract. Operation by extraction – inferior section of the cornea.

Plate LVI. Surgery for the removal of the mammary gland.

Plate LVI. Surgery for the removal of the mammary gland. 19th Century. Iconografia d’anatomia chirurgica e di medicina operatoria / [Jean Baptiste Marc Bourgery]

Plate 42, Techniques for the removal of cataracts.

Plate 42, Techniques for the removal of cataracts.

Plate 70, Surgical techniques for lithotripsy (the removal of bladder and kidney stones).

Plate 70, Surgical techniques for lithotripsy (the removal of bladder and kidney stones). Précis iconographique de médecine opératoire et d’anatomie chirurgicale by Claude Bernard (1848).

Plate LXVII. Surgical technique for lithotomy (the removal of a bladder stone). Bilateral and vesico-rectal operation.

Plate LXVII. Surgical technique for lithotomy (the removal of a bladder stone). Bilateral and vesico-rectal operation.

Fig. 1. Removal with the forceps by torsion and traction. Fig. 2, 3. Removal by ligature. Fig. 4,5. Simple hare-lip. Fig. 6, 7, 8. 'Double hare-lip' and 'complicated hare-lip'.

Fig. 1. Removal with the forceps by torsion and traction. Fig. 2, 3. Removal by ligature. Fig. 4,5. Simple hare-lip. Fig. 6, 7, 8. ‘Double hare-lip’ and ‘complicated hare-lip’.

Plate 65, Surgical removal of tumours from the scrotum.

Plate 65, Surgical removal of tumours from the scrotum.

Plate 46, Illustration of the removal of nasal polyps and tonsillectomy.

Plate 46, Illustration of the removal of nasal polyps and tonsillectomy.

Plate 16. Various operative stages of the removal of a tumour from the uterus.

Plate 16. Various operative stages of the removal of a tumour from the uterus.

Tomo II, Tavola 19. Surgical instruments used on the tonsils and nasal cavity for the removal of polyps.

Tomo II, Tavola 19. Surgical instruments used on the tonsils and nasal cavity for the removal of polyps.

Tomo II, Tavola 57 bis. Procedure for the removal of stones from the prostate and urethra.

Tomo II, Tavola 57 bis. Procedure for the removal of stones from the prostate and urethra.

Removal of tumours of uterus

Removal of tumours of uterus

Hand painted wood engraving showing the necessary position for the patient for removal of bladder stones.

Hand painted wood engraving showing the necessary position for the patient for removal of bladder stones.

Surgery on the eye for the removal of a cataract.

Surgery on the eye for the removal of a cataract.

Plate XIX. Surgical removal of a stone from the bladder.

Plate XIX. Surgical removal of a stone from the bladder.

Plate 43, Illustration and anatomy of ear surgery.

Plate 43, Illustration and anatomy of ear surgery.

surgery cataracts

Removing cataracts

Plate 55, J. Pancoast, A treatise on operative surgery, 1846.

Plate 55, J. Pancoast, A treatise on operative surgery, 1846.