Cosmas and Damian Revisited



Transplantation — that is, the transfer of tissue from one location to another — as a surgical procedure dates as far back into human history as cave paintings. As long ago as 8000 BC, domestic animals were castrated, initiating the physical juxtaposition of donor and recipient necessary for transplantation. The oldest surgery recorded in humans from the prehistoric archaeological records from the Bronze Age showed skulls from this time being subject to trephination: To relieve intracranial pressure, a circular disc of bone was removed from the calvaria and later replaced as an orthoptic autograft.


Patron Saint Hand Transplant Miraculous Cure Cave Painting Living Related Kidney Transplant 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hand Surgery Unit, Sydney and St. Luke’s HospitalsUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Orthopaedic Surgeon and Medico-Legal ConsultantSydneyAustralia

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