Sunday, September 04, 2022

Question from Glenn - Appendectomies

How were appendectomies performed? If I were to need my appendix removed, in this time, how painful or dangerous would it be? Would it have been any more dangerous and painful, then, than it is now? Did people then even call them that?


  1. The human appendix was first identified in the 1500s, and it was known that it could become inflamed. But the concept of "infection" (by microbes) was not yet developed. The first successful appendectomy was in 1735. Treatments used prior to that were aimed at symptoms and often failed. Abdominal pain of unknown origin and fever were common causes of death.

  2. I want to speak from my ancestry past, on this subject, a bit gruesome, but true. When I was 14, I found out that my Victorian (female) ancestor died from a burst appendix. Supposedly, after eating at her husband’s family’s Christmas feast, her stomach started hurting so bad, she could barely get up off the floor, and she started vomiting! The doctors misdiagnosed her, and even claimed/accused her of having the then all too common “female hysteria”. Unfortunately, (right) before a doctor finally did try to “help” her, she died.

  3. Wow Nicole, that’s fascinating, but sad at the same time. And yet, we think the doctors out there, TODAY, are unskilled/narrow-minded!


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