How Science Has Evolved Surgery

Science and medicine have enjoyed a mostly symbiotic relationship; advances in one directly lead to advances with the other. A great example would be in the realm of surgeries. Just 100 years ago, most wounds that we treat as nothing or non-issues today would be considered fatal. This isn't just due to the rampant bacteria. Botched surgeries often killed more people than conflict did. Over the years, scientific advances have brought surgery into a new era. We can now feel more assured with the process than at any other point in human history. Here are three incredible medical advancements that demonstrate how science has helped advance surgery:

First Full Face Transplant:
We are continually learning more and more about the structure of nerves and their interconnectivity with the body. Because of this, we're able to reattach fingers, toes, and other minor extremities with moderate feeling abilities retained. However, scientists weren't satisfied unless they could go for something much grander: A full face transplant. The face has the largest concentration of nerve endings in the entire body. The complexity of the necesseary muscular connections mixed with the nerve endings is mind boggling. Yet, in 2010, a team of 30 doctors in Spain completed the first full face transplant ever. Even in the three short years since this jump, the process has been refined.

Endoscopic Hand Surgeries:
Hand surgeries are some of the most difficult to accomplish in medicine. The hand has a number of ligaments, bones, tendons, muscles, and blood vessels to contend with. A recent development in hand surgeries includes an endoscopic view. Endoscopes are devices that allow doctors to see the interior of a patient's body. It's routinely seen in surgeries involving the digestive system. Now, however, the technique is used on hand surgery as well. It allows doctors to perform a release of the transverse carpal ligament to free people of carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel is a painful condition and has been plaguing many people in the modern generation. This technique is going to see much more action as the nature of the workplace gradually becomes more technologically involved.

Lasers in Surgery:
We also can't deny the importance of what some may deem as science fiction in today's surgeries. After all, science fiction often inspires scientists to work. For years, television shows and books have promised a future with laser technology catering to our every need. We are now significantly closer to that reality. Medical lasers are becoming more and more standard for procedures. Lasers are used for precision surgeries and for cutting soft tissue. It's much more precise than any steady-handed surgeon's scalpel. It's extremely useful when dealing with the ankles, feet, or gastrointestinal tract.

To see videos of endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery, visit Hand and Wrist Institute website.