History of surgery of the abdominal cavity. Arabic contributions.



Fallouji MA.

University Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Libya.

Int Surg. 1993 Jul-Sep;78(3):236-8.


In-depth historical research is made on Arabic contributions to surgery of the abdominal cavity highlighting their specific achievements in laparotomy and caesarian section. Albucasis (936-1013) in his book “Al Tasrif” produced the first authentic description ever contained in the literature on surgery of the abdomen. He described methods of bowel reduction and abdominal wall closure. Albucasis used Arabian ant-nippers for intestinal anastomosis; he was the first to sew the intestine with fine suture extracted from animal’s gut. The manuscript of Shahnama or “Book of Kings” written by Ferdowsi (1560-1580) (possessed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York), described the earliest caesarian section performed on Persian Rustam many centuries B.C. Edinburgh University Library has the manuscript entitled “Al-Athar Al-Baqiya An Alqurun Al-Khaliyah” by Al-Biruni (1307-1308); it revealed that section had probably been performed on living wives of Muslim Kings. Plates No. 65, 73, 81 and 82 illustrating Muslim Surgeons performing section were gathered from last two books by Brandenburg in 1982.

Keywords: History of surgery of the abdominal cavity. Arabic contributions.