Surgery is the medical specialty that treats diseases or injuriesby operative manual and instrumental treatment. Its practitioners are referred to as surgeons.
History of surgery
Although surgeons are now considered to be specialised physicians , theprofession of surgeon and that of physician have different historical roots. For example, the Hippocratic Oath warns physicians against practicing surgery (in particular surgery to relieve kidney stones ), which was to be left to specialized craftsmen.
Among the first modern surgeons were battlefield doctors in the Napoleonic Wars who were primarily concerned with amputation . Naval surgeons were often barber-surgeons, who combined surgery with their main jobs as barbers.
In London an operatingtheatre or emergency room from the day before modern anaesthesia or antiseptic surgerystill exists and is open to the public. It is found in the roof space of St Thomas Church , Southwark, London and is called the Old Operating Theatre .
Development of modern surgery
In the UK and other places, male surgeons are distinguished from physicians bybeing referred to as Mister . This tradition has its origins in the 18th century, whensurgeons were barber-surgeons and did not have a degree (or indeed any formal qualification), unlike physicians , who were doctors with a university medical degree. By the beginning of the 19th century, surgeons hadobtained high status, and in 1800, the Royal Collegeof Surgeons (RCS) in London began to offer surgeons a formal status via RCS membership. The title Mister became abadge of honour, and today only surgeons who hold the Fellowship of one of the Royal Colleges of Surgery areentitled to call themselves Mister , Miss , Mrs or Ms .
Common surgical procedures
According to 1996 data from the US National Center for Health Statistics, 40.3 million inpatient surgical procedures wereperformed in the United States in 1996, followed closely by 31.5 million outpatient surgeries.
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