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Az-zahrawi of The Andalusian Muslim World


Abu al-Qasim Khalaf bin Abbas al-Zahrawi (who died after the year 400 AH / 1013AD)

Known in the Western world as Abulcasis, - image source : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Zahrawi

He is an Arab Muslim doctor who lived in Andalusia. He is considered the greatest surgeon to have appeared in the Islamic world, and was described by many as the father of modern surgery. The greatest of his contributions to medicine is the book “Al-Tasrif for Those Who Cannot Compose,” which is a medical encyclopedia of thirty volumes. His medical contributions, whether in the medical technologies used or the devices he made, had a great impact in the East and West, so that some of his inventions are still in use today. Al-Zahrawi is the first doctor to describe ectopic pregnancy, and he is also the first to discover the genetic nature of hemophilia.

His biography

Al-Zahrawi was born in Madinat Al-Zahra, and his roots go back to Al-Ansar. Al-Zahrawi lived in Cordoba, where he studied, taught, and practiced medicine and surgery. Al-Zahrawi’s name was not mentioned except through the writings of Ibn Hazm, who considered him among the greatest physicians of Andalusia. As for the first person to write his autobiography, it was Al-Hamidi in his book “The Emblem of Al-Muqtabat fi Male Al-Andalus Scholars”, which he wrote 60 years after Al-Zahrawi's death, where he said about him that he is: “From the people of virtue, religion and knowledge.”

Ibn Abi Usa’a’a said about him: “He was a virtuous doctor, an expert in single and combined medicines, well-cured, and he had well-known classifications in the medicine industry, the best of which was his great book known as Al-Zahrawi, and Ibn Abbas al-Zahrawi succeeded in one of the books, Kitab al-Tasrif for those unable to compose. A complete book in its meaning. '' Gustave Le Bon described him as: «the most famous Arab surgeon, and described the process of crushing the gallstone in the bladder in particular, as it was considered one of the inventions of the present age without the right.

His works

Al-Zahrawi specialized in treating diseases with cauterization, and he also invented many surgical tools, such as the one that examines the internal urethra, which enters or exits foreign bodies in and out of the throat, examines the ear, etc., and he was the first to describe ectopic pregnancy in 963AD. [7] He was also the first to describe the different types of dressing tubes, the first to treat a wart using an iron tube and caustic substance, and he was the first to use double hooks in surgeries, and the first to find a successful method for stopping bleeding by connecting large arteries six hundred years ago. Al-Zahrawi described the regular syringe, enema, and special spoons for lowering the tongue and examining the mouth, tonsil guillotines, peat and extraction hooks, bone saws, irons and scalpels of various kinds.

Al-Zahrawi was also the first to describe catheterization, the owner of its idea and the innovator of its tools, and he was the one who performed difficult operations in the incision of the trachea. Doctors before him, such as Avicenna and Al-Razi, had refrained from performing it because of its seriousness. Al-Zahrawi also invented a very precise machine to treat external urinary tract obstruction in newborns. To facilitate the passage of urine, and he has also succeeded in removing blood from the chest cavity, and from all sunken wounds in general. Al-Zahrawi was the first to make sutures for suturing wounds, and he used it in intestinal surgery in particular, and he made it from the intestines of cattle and cats, and the first to practice internal stitching with two needles and with one thread attached to them, and he was the first to use charcoal in lubricating simple honey syrup, and the first to use special molds to make tablets Pharmacokinetics.

Al-Zahrawi has very important additions in the science of dentistry and jaw surgery, and he wrote on deformities of the mouth and the roof of the throat, and he devoted a special chapter to this specialty, in which he explained how to gently extract teeth, the causes of jaw fractures during extraction, methods of extracting the roots of molars, methods of cleaning teeth, and treatment of fractures Jaws, ingrown molars, and masters of orthodontics. In obstetrics and gynecological surgery, he described Falseer's position for childbirth, in addition to describing methods of obstetrics and methods of managing difficult births, how to extract the attached placenta, ectopic pregnancy, methods of treating abortion, and invented a special machine to extract the dead fetus, and he was the first to use special machines to expand the cervix, Machines for eradicating nasal tumors, which are like a hook, and machines for extracting bladder stones by incision and vaginal fragmentation, and the first to research arthritis and tuberculosis in the back, seven hundred years before Percival Pot, and he referred to the use of women in nursing, and he was the first to use cotton to stop bleeding. Al-Zahrawi also made the first form of medical tape, which is still used in hospitals today.

Al-Zahrawi completed his book “Al-Tasrif for Those Who Cannot Compose” in the year 1000 AD, which is one of thirty volumes of medical practices in which he compiled the medical and pharmaceutical sciences in his time, and which covered a wide range of medical topics, including dentistry and childbirth, which he collected his information over 50 years of his practice For medicine, and it contained an anatomical description and classification of the symptoms of about 325 diseases and their treatments, and the medical aspects related to surgery, orthopedic surgeries, pharmacology and others, but its most prominent content was in surgery. What Ibn Hazm said about him: “And if we say that it was not composed in medicine, I collect it from it, nor is it better to say and work on natures, let's believe it,” which was translated by Gerardo of Cremona into Latin in the twelfth century, and which was used for five centuries in medieval Europe, and was the main source For medical knowledge in Europe, doctors and surgeons used it as a reference for them, and the book remained in circulation and reprinted until the second half of the eighteenth century.

Al-Zahrawi's book on surgery replaced the writings of the ancients, and it remained a reference on surgery until the sixteenth century, and this book included illustrations of surgical machines. His machines helped lay the groundwork for surgery in Europe. In his book, Al-Zahrawi described the surgical tools that he made and drew, determined the way to use them, and explained what corrupts surgeries and what their success depends on. The Kitab al-Tasrif described what was later known as the Kocher method for treating a dislocated shoulder, and the posture and evil of childbirth. He also described how blood vessels were tied with silk sutures to stop bleeding from them before Ambroise Barré, the first book to document dental instruments, and explain the genetic nature of hemophilia. Al-Zahrawi described how to use forceps in normal deliveries, and he made forceps to extract a dead fetus from the womb. He also described a technique for surgical removal of gynecomastia.

In the book Al-Tasrif, Al-Zahrawi also described how blood vessels were tied about 600 years before Ambroise Barre described them through cauterization, which was the first book to describe a number of dental devices, and to explain the genetic nature of hemophilia. He also described a surgical method for temporal artery cauterization to treat migraines as well, six hundred years ago by Barré. More than 200 surgical instruments have been invented. Al-Zahrawi used strings from the intestine of cats in internal surgery, as it is the only natural substance that breaks down and is accepted by the human body. Al-Zahrawi also invented surgical forceps to extract dead embryos, and described it in his book.

In pharmacology, Al-Zahrawi pioneered the preparation of drugs using sublimation and distillation techniques. His book, which was translated into Latin under the name “Liber Servitoris,” was of particular interest, as it provided the reader with recipes and explanations of how to prepare samples of compound drugs. Ibn Abi Issa'ah said that he was an expert in both single and combined medicines.

In his book, Al-Zahrawi contradicted the opinion of the ancients when they said that ironing is only valid in spring, and said it is valid throughout the year. He also contradicted their opinion that gold is better for ironing, saying that he prefers to use iron because he is more successful than gold in this practice. Speaking about pleural cauterization, Al-Zahrawi mentioned the ancient mistake of ironing with a heated iron until redness to reach and extract the abscess, saying that this is dangerous and may lead to death or that the abscess may reappear in the same place.

Al-Zahrawi has other books besides this book, such as “An Essay on the Work of the Hand” and “A Brief Vocabulary and Its Properties.” Al-Zarkali said that he acquired for al-Zahrawi a Moroccan manuscript in Andalusian script arranged on the letters from A to Z, entitled “A book in which the names of drugs are in Greek, Syriac, Persian and Arabic. And the interpretation of weights and weights, the allowance for drugs and their ages, and the interpretation of current names in medicine books. ”

Al-Zahrawi was the greatest surgical authority in the Middle Ages. Donald Campbell, a historian of Arab medicine, described Al-Zahrawi's influence on Europe: “Al-Zahrawi's methods abolished the methods of Galen, and they maintained a privileged position in Europe for five hundred years. ... it also helped raise the status of surgery in Christian Europe, ... ”In the fourteenth century, the French surgeon (Guy de Chauliac) cited the book“ Al-Tasrif for Those Who Cannot Compose ”more than 200 times. Pietro Argalata (d. 1453 AD) described Al-Zahrawi as saying, "Without a doubt, he is the chief of all surgeons." Al-Zahrawi's influence lasted until the Renaissance, when the French surgeon Jacques Delchamps cited his book Al-Tasrif. Spain honored him by giving his name to a street in Cordoba near the Mosque of Cordoba.

In his treatment, Al-Zahrawi used innovative surgical instruments such as the hook, the file, and the hooks, some of which are indicative of primitive ancestors to the modern tools used now. Amputation scalpel, stainless suture scissors, knee joint scalpel, two nickel-coated scalpels, small narrow scalpel for incising incisions, dogs - mask - arterial, self-apnea - to keep both sides of the wound open during surgery .

For more information about Al-zahrawi - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Zahrawi

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comments and thoughts Sodiq Kolayo 31-Aug-2020 Love this


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