Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Tracheostomy in ancient Egypt

  • Patric Blomstedt (a1)

Abstract

It has often been reported that the ancient Egyptians performed tracheostomies. An analysis of this claim demonstrates it to be founded on only two depictions from the Protodynastic period (thirty-first century bc). These depictions are difficult to reconcile with tracheostomy from an anatomical point of view and can more easily be explained as human sacrifices. Considering that Egyptian surgery included only minor procedures even at its zenith during later dynastic periods, it is difficult to imagine that they would have developed such an advanced procedure at such an early date.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Prof Patric Blomstedt, Unit of Stereotactic Functional Neurosurgery, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University Hospital of Umeå, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden Fax: +4690138045 E-mail: patric.blomstedt@neuro.umu.se

References

Hide All
1Edwards, IES, Gadd, CJ, Hammond, NGL, eds. Early History of the Middle East. 3rd edn.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971
2von Staden, H.Herophilus: The Art of Medicine in Early Alexandria. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989
3Herodotus. The History of Herodotus. London: Macmillan, 1890
4Ascaso, FJ, Lizana, J, Cristobal, JA. Cataract surgery in ancient Egypt. J Cataract Refract Surg 2009;35:607–8
5El Gindi, S. Neurosurgery in Egypt: past, present, and future-from pyramids to radiosurgery. Neurosurgery 2002;51:789–95
6Dobanovački, D, Milovanović, L, Slavković, A, Tatić, M, Mišković, S, Škorić-Jokić, S et al. Surgery before Common Era. Arch Oncol 2012;20:2235
7Weinberger, BW. The dental art in ancient Egypt. J Am Dent Assoc 1947;34:170–84
8Blomstedt, P. Letter to the Editor: Transnasal surgery. J Neurosurg 2012;117:381–3
9Pahor, AL. Ear, nose and throat in ancient Egypt. In: David, AR, ed. Science in Egyptology. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984;243–9
10Ebbell, B. The Papyrus Ebers. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard, 1937
11Jonckheere, F. The role of the priest of Sekhmet in the medical profession of ancient Egypt [in French]. Actes du VIe Congrès d'Histoire des Sciences: Amsterdam, Paris, 1951;324–33
12Jonckheere, F. In search of the Egyptian surgeon [in French]. Chronique d'Égypte 1951;26:2845
13Breasted, JH. The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1930
14Goldenberg, D, Golz, A, Netzer, A, Joachims, HZ. Tracheotomy: Changing indications and a review of 1130 cases. J Otolaryngol 2002;31:211–15
15Melker, RJ, Kost, KM. Percutaneous dilational cricothyrotomy and tracheostomy. In: Benumof, J, Hagberg, CA, eds. Benumof's Airway Management: Principles and Practice. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier, 2007;640–77
16Zur, KB, Jacobs, IN. Management of chronic upper airway obstruction. In: Wetmore, RF, ed. Pediatric Otolaryngology. Philadelphia: Mosby/Elsevier, 2007;173–89
17Noppen, M. Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy. In: Bolliger, CT, Mathur, PN, eds. Interventional Bronchoscopy. Basel: Karger, 2000;215–25
18Glover, DW. The History of Respiratory Therapy: Discovery and Evolution. Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2010
19Pahor, AL. Ear, nose and throat in ancient Egypt: Part II. J Laryngol Otol 1992;106:773–9
20Rajesh, O, Meher, R. Historical review of tracheostomy. Internet J Otorhinolaryngol 2006;4
21Trachsel, D, Hammer, J. Indications for tracheostomy in children. Paediatr Respir Rev 2006;7:162–8
22Walts, PA, Murthy, SC, DeCamp, MM. Techniques of surgical tracheostomy. Clin Chest Med 2003;24:413–22
23Dancey, A, Mein, E, Papini, R. Emergency management of tracheostomy tube deflation. Burns 2008;34:570–1
24Pahor, AL. Tracheostomy. J R Soc Med 1993;86:308
25Paran, H, Butnaru, G, Hass, I, Afanasyv, A, Gutman, M. Evaluation of a modified percutaneous tracheostomy technique without bronchoscopic guidance. Chest 2004;126:868–71
26Silbergleit, AK, Gardner, GM, Iannuzzi, MC. Tracheotomy, tracheostomy tubes, and mechanical ventilation. In: Tippett, D, ed. Tracheostomy and Ventilator Dependency: Management of Breathing, Speaking and Swallowing. New York: Thieme, 2000;6592
27Kramp, B, Dommerich, S. Tracheostomy cannulas and voice prosthesis. GMS Curr Top Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2009;8:126
28Musso, CG. Imhotep: The dean among the ancient Egyptian physicians. An example of a complete physician. Humane Medicine Health Care 2005;5:169
29Björling, G. Long-term tracheostomy. Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet, 2007
30Chinsky, KD. Varying approaches to tracheostomy: ‘vive la difference’. Chest 2005;127:1083–5
31van Schalkwyk, CR, Mclntosh, WA. Tracheotomy in the ICU—current opinions. S Afr Med J 1998;88:1444–7
32Munir, N, Hughes, D, Sadera, G, Sherman, IW. Ultrasound-guided localisation of trachea for surgical tracheostomy. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2010;267:477–9
33Pierson, DJ. Tracheostomy from A to Z: historical context and current challenges. Respir Care 2005;50:473–5
34Seid, AB, Gluckman, JA. Tracheostomy. In: Paparella, MM, ed. Otolaryngology:Philadelphia: W.B Saunders, 1991;2429–37
35Weissler, MC, Couch, ME. Tracheotomy and intubation. In: Bailey, BJ, Johnson, JT, Newlands, SD, eds. Head & Neck Surgery: Otolaryngology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006;785802
36Petrie, WMF, Griffith, FL. The royal tombs of the first dynasty. London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1900
37Emery, WB, Saad, ZY. Excavations at Saqqara: The tomb of Hemaka. Cairo: Government Press, 1938
38Edwards, IES. Religion and funerary beliefs. In: Edwards, IES, Gadd, CJ, Hammond, NGL, eds. The Cambridge Ancient History. 3rd edn.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971;51–9
39Vikentiev, V. Archaic monuments. IV-V. Two rites of the royal jubilee in the Protodynastic era [in French]. Bulletin de l'Institut Égyptien 1949–1950;32:171228
40Perrin, H. Surgical pathology of the head and neck and otorhinolaryngology in Pharaonic Egypt [in French]. Lyon: Lyon, 1967
41Hussein, MK. Some specimens of bone disease in ancient Egyptians [in French]. Bulletin de l'Institut Égyptien 1949–1950;32:1117
42Leca, A-P. The Egyptian medicine in the days of the Pharaohs [in French]. Paris: R. Dacosta, 1971
43Larrey, DJ. Memoirs of military surgery and campaigns. Paris: J. Smith, 1812
44Fanous, AA, Couldwell, WT. Transnasal excerebration surgery in ancient Egypt. J Neurosurg 2012;116:743–8

Keywords

Tracheostomy in ancient Egypt

  • Patric Blomstedt (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed