As Seen on Television: The Dawn of Modern Medicine

They scrub in according to a strict protocol. All instruments are sterile, the patient is put to sleep, and an incision is cut and held open with retractors. Moving into the abdominal cavity, surgeons clamp bleeding arteries and cauterize tissues meticulously to prevent blood loss while also making the surgical field easier to see.

Thus far, it seems just like surgery today, but for the numerous people overlooking from elevated theater seats, dressed in formal Victorian outfits. That’s th

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