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Gynecology Procedures


Vintage gynecology pictures.

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Diseases of the female genital tract have been known to exist since the time of the ancient Egyptians, the Old Testament and the early Greeks.

The Kahun papyrus (2000 B.C.), the papyrus of Ebers (1550 B.C.) as well as Ayurvedic books (1200 - 500 B.C.) included gynecologic diseases in their text. Deliveries were performed by midwives and relatives.

The Lex Caesara, a law passed in the seventh century B.C. in Rome, stated that all pregnant dying women should have abdominal surgery done in order to deliver the baby, hence the term "Caesarian" delivery. Much later, Ambroise Pare started a school for midwives in Paris.

The FIRST recorded case of gynecologic surgery took place in 1809 when Ephraim McDowell of Kentucky was called to deliver the 38 year old Ms. Crawford of suspected twins. The "twins" however turned out to be a large ovarian tumor. McDowell took the risk of performing the first ovariotomy without anesthesia or aseptic precautions. McDowell performed twelve more ovariotomies without failure, an incredible feat in those days.

In 1855, the world's first hospital devoted to diseases of women was set up in New York by James Marion Sims. 
Robert Lawson Tail (1845-1897), another pioneer gynecologic surgeon, was among the first to perform surgery for a tubo-ovarian abscess (1872), hysterectomy (1874) and ectopic pregnancy (1883), in addition to thousand of ovariotomies.


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