obert Liston (1794-1847) was a Scottish surgeon, best known for his surgical speed. Hulton Archive/Getty Images On your mark … get set … cut? As if lack of indoor plumbing wasn’t enough, here’s another reason to pity our ancestors: speed surgery was once a thing. Even scarier, it existed out of necessity, because anesthesia had not yet been discovered. Talk about a nightmare come to life! Surgery then versus now couldn’t be more different. Modern surgeons take their time, often spending hours painstakingly preserving a sterile environment, making measured decisions and double-checking their work to ensure success. Not so long ago, however, surgery was a wham, bam, thank you ma’am situation, simply because the patients couldn’t handle the pain. Plus, the quicker the surgery, the better their odds of survival. Although all surgeons of the day had to be pretty quick with the cut, Scottish surgeon Robert Liston (1794 – 1847) achieved impressive levels of fame and notoriety for both his surgical skills and ego, and is still known today as the fastest surgeon of the 19th century. Liston was in high demand because he “only” lost one out of ten patients on the table during his time at London’s… Read full this story
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