Medicine News of the Weird Surgery

Truer words were never spoken…

Via Modern Mechanix, an ad from 1938:


Does this make you think of something other than a medical ad? Maybe it’s the whole thing about the “human hand” being placed on the groin as a truss.

Actually, the best “support” for a “rupture” (a.k.a. an inguinal hernia) these days is some polypropylene mesh sewn into place properly as either a sheet and/or plug to hold the “rupture” in. Back in 1938, the best “support” was some conjoined tendon sewn to the appropriate ligament, the most common of which when I was a resident, back in the days right before mesh became popular, was the Bassini repair, although the Cooper’s ligament repair and Shouldice repair were also taught.

These days, with tension-free repairs done using mesh, hernia repairs are generally not that big a deal. We should be grateful that they are no longer done the way that they were attempted hundreds of years ago:


Now that looks painful.

Clearly, though, surgeons understood even centuries ago the importance of the Trendelenburg position.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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