Surgeons of the Incas was much more effective than the modern doctors

Researchers do not know how the surgeons of the Incas has reached such high rates

Хирурги инков оказались на порядок эффективнее современных врачей

Scientists from the University of Miami studied the skulls of 800 people who have undergone trepanation at the time of the Inca Empire in Peru in the period from IV century BC to the XVI century of our era, and found that survival after surgery was higher than during the Civil war.

However, the study allowed the researchers to know that the first experiences of trepanation, the Incas were unsuccessful. In IV-II centuries BC, the survival did not exceed forty. The highest level of 91%— it has reached in the period from the XI to XV century. In the next century the average ratio dropped to the interval of 75-83%. It is worth noting that the mortality of craniotomy during the Civil war was 46-56%.


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At the moment, researchers don’t know exactly how the surgeons of the Incas has reached such high rates, but they have assumptions as to why during the Civil war, the mortality rate was high. According to scientists, during the war, doctors did not sterilize the tool and shoved into the open skull fingers to probe the wound and bone. The Incas also somehow coped with the infection and, presumably, used the leaves of the Coca Bush for anesthesia.

Researchers evaluated the mortality according to the degree of bone remodeling. If the skull had no trace of wound healing, they believed the dead man because of the surgery, and if bone were traces of correction recognized these patients recovered.

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