International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 723–748 | Cite as

History of colorectal surgery

A comprehensive historical review from the ancient Egyptians to the surgical robot
  • Giovanni Domenico Tebala



Colorectal surgery has its roots in the early civilisations and its development followed a complex pathway never disjoined from the social and cultural environment where it took place.


The most relevant historical sources have been evaluated.


A comprehensive review of the history of colorectal surgery is presented, from the ancient Egyptian culture to the modern achievements. The development of surgery of colon, rectum and anus is reported with particular reference to the social environment and history; as the development of colorectal surgery parallels the occurrence of human historical events, the study of the former cannot be disjoined from the latter.


Study and knowledge of the history of medicine — and, in particular, of colorectal surgery for those interested in this particular subject — is a privileged way to understand who we are nowadays and where we come from.


Colorectal surgery Colorectal cancer Proctology Haemorrhoids History of surgery 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Noble’s HospitalDouglasIsle of Man

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