NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eye surgery. Historical engraving of surgical operations being performed on patients' eyes, possibly for the removal of cataracts. The operations are being performed in the open air in front of a large crowd. Surgery at this time was painful and risky before the discovery of effective anaesthetics and antiseptics. Post- operative infection often killed patients. Cataracts occur when the lens or its capsule become opaque, so causing blindness; the condition can be treated by removing the cataract, but the patient will need to wear spectacles afterwards for clear vision. Image drawn in Germany.
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