Thumb polydactyly, 19th-century Japan

Thumb polydactyly, 19th-century Japan

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Credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thumb polydactyly, 19th-century Japan. Illustration of a case of polydactyly (extra fingers or toes), from 'A Surgical Casebook', a 19th-century manuscript of hand-painted pictures commissioned by Japanese surgeon Hanaoka Seishu (1760-1835). Hanaoka pioneered the use of general anaesthesia to remove tumours from cancer patients. His book illustrated the cancers and other conditions that he treated, and the patients that came to him for treatment. The illustrations were by an artist named Tangetsu.

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