Breast cancer surgery, 19th-century Japan

Breast cancer surgery, 19th-century Japan


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Breast cancer surgery, 19th-century Japan. Illustration of the initial lumpectomy stage (feeling for the lump) of a breast cancer operation carried out on 13 October 1804 by Japanese surgeon Hanaoka Seishu (1760-1835). Hanaoka pioneered the use of general anaesthesia in cancer surgery. He used mafutsusan to anaesthetize this patient (60-year-old Kan Aiya), in what is recognised as the world's first surgical procedure under general anaesthesia. Illustration by Tangetsu from 'A Surgical Casebook', a manuscript commissioned by Hanaoka. This illustration is part of a sequence showing the breast cancer surgery and tumour.

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