Surgery for inguinal hernia in Byzantine times (A.D. 324-1453): first scientific descriptions

Here we present the ‘Abstract‘ of the corresponding paper by Lascaratos JG, Tsiamis C, Kostakis A.


The aim of this article is to present the techniques applied by Byzantine physicians for inguinal hernia repair and to note their influence on the development of surgery after that time. A study and analysis of the original texts of the Byzantine medical writers, written in Greek, and containing the now mostly lost knowledge of the ancient Hellenistic and Roman periods, was undertaken. Two Byzantine physicians, Aetius of Amida (6th century A.D.) and Paul of Aegina (7th century A.D.), described two techniques for confrontation of inguinal hernia, namely the surgical removal of the prolapsed peritoneum and the cauterization of the groin. These methods were probably derived from the texts of earlier Greek surgeons to which they added their own keen observations. The study of Byzantine medical and literary texts proves that the surgical techniques for inguinal hernia were practiced in Byzantine times and influenced later Arabian and European surgery, thus constituting significant roots of surgery.



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