This podcast takes an entertaining and informative approach to telling the stories of the people and events that make up the history of modern surgery.
Episode 104 - Lamb's Blood, Monkey 'Glands', Pig Kidneys, and More: A Brief History of Xenotransplantation
27:09In this episode, we will trace the history of attempts at transplanting cells, tissues, and organs from animals into humans. From world-famous surgeons to medical charlatans, all manner of people have tried, and all inevitably failed. However, with the rise of genetic editing, there is new hope that xenotransplantation will turn from a dream into reality!
Episode 103 - The Story of the Spleen
21:42In this episode, we return to a previous series, looking at the history of different organs in the body. The history of our understanding of the spleen, including its function, will be covered, as well as the development of surgery on the spleen. And in another instalment of Suture Tales, we'll meet Quincy Gardner Colton, a medical school dropout, showman, and integral figure in the history of nitrous oxide as an anesthetic.
Bonus Episode - The Curious Case of Scarpa's Head
17:50In this bonus suture tale episode, we cover the life and works of the famous Italian surgeon and anatomist Antonio Scarpa. While many are familiar with him from the eponymously named fascia, his contributions to the science of medicine extend well beyond this. Known as a tyrant in life, a number of anatomical structures were removed after his death, including his head, which can still be seen today! And as an extra bonus, the life of his mentor, Giovanni Morgagni is also explored.
Episode 102 - Hua T'o and Surgery in Ancient China
23:50In this episode, we cover the legendary figure of Hua T'o, the best known (and one of the few) surgeons from Ancient China, as well as the state of surgical treatments at the time. The tale of his most famous operation, on the General Guan Yu, is also examined. Finally, the role of culture and religion on the development of anatomical and surgical knowledge in Ancient China is explored.
Episode 101 - Galen, Part 2: His Works
40:45In this episode, we'll take a look at some of the contributions he made in surgery and anatomy, as well as some of the errors of his that were repeated for centuries before being disproven. We'll also have a look at the history of the first known surgery, trephination (or drilling a hole in the head), the origins of the word 'cancer', and lots more! As well, Suture Tales takes a look at a giant in the history of ENT surgery, Dr. John Conley. And if you stay to the end, there's even some poetry!
Episode 100 - Galen, Part 1: The Story of his Life
35:20In the 100th episode of Legends of Surgery, we will explore the life of one of medicine and surgery's greatest influences: the Greek physician from Ancient Rome, Claudius Galen. The events of his life will be covered, as well as some of the amazing feats he performed. In the second part of this mini-series, Galen's lasting impact on anatomy and surgery will we outlined. This episode also features a Suture Tale, this time on the surgeon and anatomist Carl Toldt, who described the important surgical landmark we now know as the white line of Toldt!
Episode 99 - The History of Transgender Reassignment Surgery
54:12In this episode, we'll cover the history of transgender medicine, with a focus on the development of the main surgical procedures in gender reassignment surgery, including vaginoplasty, phalloplasty, and metoidioplasty. A number of trailblazing surgeons and patients will be covered, and there is even a suture tale about a strange Victorian practice of clitoridectomy. Listener beware: this episode contains some graphic descriptions of genital surgery.
Episode 98 - A Knot of Suture Tales
38:27In this episode, we're going to do something a bit different. I've taken a number of shorter but very interesting topics, either that I've come across on my own or have been suggested by listeners, and turned 5 of them into this episode. There's a medication, a maneuver, a procedure, a person, and a device! And if you have an idea for a topic, please let me know, maybe it will be on the next suture tales!
Bonus Episode - The Bizarre History of Bezoars
11:14In this bonus episode, we cover the long and strange history of the bezoar, a stone that forms in the stomachs of some animals (including humans!) We will go back to the earliest recordings of bezoars in medicine, their use as a treatment for poison, particularly in the Islamic medical world, their rise in popularity in Renaissance Europe, and of course, meet a famous surgeon along the way. Please enjoy a little holiday break from the usual fare!
Episode 97 - The History of Blood Transfusions
33:24In this episode, we explore the origins of our understanding of blood and its function, going all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome. We'll discuss the humeral system championed by Galen, and how these concepts were finally corrected with the discovery of the circulatory system. The consumption of blood, a practice dating back to ancient times, will be covered, as well as the first transfusions into humans, including the first truly successful one by Dr. James Blundell. As always, there will be lots of twists and turns, so enjoy!