36 Facts About Al-Zahrawi


Al-Zahrawi's pioneering contributions to the field of surgical procedures and instruments had an enormous impact in the East and West well into the modern period, where some of his discoveries are still applied in medicine to this day.

FactSnippet No. 533,105

Al-Zahrawi pioneered the use of catgut for internal stitches, and his surgical instruments are still used today to treat people.

FactSnippet No. 533,106

Al-Zahrawi was the first physician to identify the hereditary nature of haemophilia and describe an abdominal pregnancy, a subtype of ectopic pregnancy that in those days was a fatal affliction, and was the first to discover the root cause of paralysis.

FactSnippet No. 533,107

Al-Zahrawi developed surgical devices for Caesarean sections and cataract surgeries.

FactSnippet No. 533,108

Al-Zahrawi was born in the city of Azahara, 8 kilometers northwest of Cordoba, Andalusia.

FactSnippet No. 533,109

Al-Zahrawi was a court physician to the Andalusian caliph Al-Hakam II.

FactSnippet No. 533,110

Al-Zahrawi was a contemporary of Andalusian chemists such as Ibn al-Wafid, al-Majriti and Artephius.

FactSnippet No. 533,111

Al-Zahrawi devoted his entire life and genius to the advancement of medicine as a whole and surgery in particular.

FactSnippet No. 533,112

Al-Zahrawi invented several devices used during surgery, for purposes such as inspection of the interior of the urethra and inspection, applying and removing foreign bodies from the throat, the ear and other body organs.

FactSnippet No. 533,113

Al-Zahrawi was the first to illustrate the various cannulae and the first to treat a wart with an iron tube and caustic metal as a boring instrument.

FactSnippet No. 533,114

Al-Zahrawi sewed up the wound and the girl recovered, thereby proving that an incision in the larynx could heal.

FactSnippet No. 533,115

Al-Zahrawi is known to have performed surgical treatments of head injuries, skull fractures, spinal injuries, hydrocephalus, subdural effusions and headache.

FactSnippet No. 533,116

Al-Zahrawi stated that he chose to discuss surgery in the last volume because surgery is the highest form of medicine, and one must not practice it until he becomes well-acquainted with all other branches of medicine.

FactSnippet No. 533,117

Al-Zahrawi emphasized the importance of treating patients irrespective of their social status.

FactSnippet No. 533,118

Al-Zahrawi encouraged the close observation of individual cases in order to make the most accurate diagnosis and the best possible treatment.

FactSnippet No. 533,119

Al-Zahrawi was, therefore, the first to describe the migraine surgery procedure that is enjoying a revival in the 21st century, spearheaded by Elliot Shevel a South African surgeon.

FactSnippet No. 533,120

Al-Zahrawi ascribed such decline to a lack of anatomical knowledge and a misunderstanding of the human physiology.

FactSnippet No. 533,121

Al-Zahrawi who devoted himself to surgerymust be versed in the science ofanatomy.

FactSnippet No. 533,122

Al-Zahrawi should become thoroughly familiar with nerves muscles bones arteries and veins.

FactSnippet No. 533,123

Al-Zahrawi's technique was important for the development of lithotomy, and an improvement over the existing techniques in Europe which caused severe pain for the patient, and came with high death rates.

FactSnippet No. 533,124

Al-Zahrawi was known to use gold and silver wires to ligate loosened teeth, and has been credited as the first to use replantation in the history of dentistry.

FactSnippet No. 533,125

Al-Zahrawi invented instruments to scale the calculus from the teeth, a procedure he recommended as a prevention from periodontal disease.

FactSnippet No. 533,126

Al-Zahrawi introduced over 200 surgical instruments, which include, among others, different kinds of scalpels, retractors, curettes, pincers, specula, and instruments designed for his favoured techniques of cauterization and ligature.

FactSnippet No. 533,127

Al-Zahrawi invented hooks with a double tip for use in surgery.

FactSnippet No. 533,128

An observation Al-Zahrawi discovered after his monkey ate the strings of his oud.

FactSnippet No. 533,129

Al-Zahrawi invented the forceps for extracting a dead fetus, as illustrated in the Kitab al-Tasrif.

FactSnippet No. 533,130

Al-Zahrawi warns that another procedure should not be attempted by any surgeon lacking "long training and practice in the use of cautery".

FactSnippet No. 533,131

Al-Zahrawi is not afraid to depart from old practice, disparaging the opinions that cauterization should only be used in the spring or that gold is the best material for cauterization: "cauterization is swifter and more successful with iron".

FactSnippet No. 533,132

In pharmacy and pharmacology, Al-Zahrawi pioneered the preparation of medicines by sublimation and distillation.

FactSnippet No. 533,133

Al-Zahrawi dedicated the 28th chapter of his book to pharmacy and pharmaceutical techniques.

FactSnippet No. 533,134

Al-Zahrawi touched upon the subject of cosmetics and dedicated a chapter for it in his medical encyclopedia.

FactSnippet No. 533,135

Al-Zahrawi considered cosmetics a branch of medicine, which he called "Medicine of Beauty".

FactSnippet No. 533,136

Al-Zahrawi invented a perfumed sticks rolled and pressed in special molds, perhaps the earliest antecedents of present-day lipsticks and solid deodorants.

FactSnippet No. 533,137

Al-Zahrawi was the "most frequently cited surgical authority of the Middle Ages".

FactSnippet No. 533,138

Al-Zahrawi, however, helped to raise the status of surgery in Christian Europe; in his book on fractures and luxations, he states that 'this part of surgery has passed into the hands of vulgar and uncultivated minds, for which reason it has fallen into contempt.

FactSnippet No. 533,139

Al-Zahrawi's influence continued for at least five centuries, extending into the Renaissance, evidenced by al-Tasrif's frequent reference by French surgeon Jacques Dalechamps.

FactSnippet No. 533,140