Trepanation is the practice of making a hole in the skull. It is the oldest surgical procedure practiced by mankind (ITAG introduction). Archaeologists have found trepanned skulls dating back to 3000 B.C. Hippocrates, who is considered to be the father of medicine, wrote “On Injuries of the Head” endorsed trepanation for the treatment of head wounds in 400 B.C. (Bowen).
Edward M. Margetts stated, “The word ‘trepanation’ comes from the Greek trypanon, meaning ‘a borer,’ and dates back to classic times. The more recent term ‘trephination’ affords a variant, and is derived from the French.” Basically to trepan is to bore a hole in the skull. This hole is usually made by scraping, rasping, drilling, cutting, or sawing into the skull).
Historically, many cultures practiced trepanation. In 1829, in Polynesia, a missionary by the name of William Ellis reported that trepanation was used to repair bony deficiencies in the skull by replacing the bone with a piece of coconut shell. This is not true trepanation because they did not make the hole or depression in the skull. In Tahiti, trepanation was performed using a shark’s tooth. The tahunas, or priests performed this procedure.
In North America, trepanation w
He is then placed in a sitting or lying position and restrained. Bart Huges, who is not really a doctor at all, since he never graduated medical school, is an advocate of modern day trepanning. Brain doctors do agree on one thing though, they all agree that a hole is the starting point for all neurosugical procedures. I looked at the trepan and there was a bit of bone in it. The operation is a simple but painstaking and sometimes long drawn out procedure, taking one to four hours. Using saws and elevators, "bad bone"tm is removed day after day. The Ganda, Nkole, and Soga of Uganda, readily treated headaches with trepanning and also cauterization, which is the process of burning and searing abnormal tissue. Tribes such as the Kisii and the Tende of Africa still practice this procedure. It is known also that the reasons offered for trepanning in present day primitive cultures are not always the same. Trepanation is a dangerous, and potentially lethal, practice. In Libya, children at the age of four years were trepanned in order to "prevent them from being plagued in their after lives by the flow of rheum from the head. I bandaged up my head and cleared away the mess.