A Quotation from Al-Zahrawi in a Letter to the BMJ Editor

Never perform an operation without first watching it performed by others and without having experience of the technique…

Davide Lazzeri, Plastic surgeon, Stefano Lazzeri*, Michele Figus*, Marco Nardi*, and Marcello Pantaloni, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit and *Ophthalmology Unit, 56100, Hospital of Pisa, Italy.
Letter to the BMJ Editor on 8th of January 2010 in response to:
How Islam Changed Medicine
Majeed A. How Islam changed medicine. BMJ. 2005 24; 331: 1486-7)

“….Embracing scientific knowledge received from the Nestorians allows Muslim medical culture to grow up exponentially, reaching its peak with the encyclopedic work on medicine and surgery El Tasrif or Tasrif (The Method) by Abul Quazim Khalaf Ibn’Abbas az-Zahrawi, better known as Albucasis (936–1013 A.D.) the greatest Arab surgeon in history.[6] Albucasis is considered to be one of the moving spirits behind the rebirth of surgery, because it was through his teachings that the practice spread from Cordoba across Western Europe. The book became rapidly the leading medical text in all European universities during the later Middle Ages. Its section on surgery contains illustrations of surgical instruments of elegant, functional design and great precision. Other chapters describe amputations, ophthalmic and dental surgery, and the treatment of wounds and fractures. He developed new surgical technologies and invented several devices used during surgery. “… Never perform an operation without first watching it performed by others and without having experience of the technique” was the basic principle of his modern medical teaching.”[5]

References:
5. Santoni-Rugiu P, and Sykes P. The contribution of Arabs. In: A history of plastic surgery. The Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH& Co. KG; 2007: pp. 50-2.
6. Leclerc L. La chirurgie d’Albucasis. Bailliere, Paris, 1861

For the full text of the article including the rest of the references and contributions of some other scholars from the Medieval Islamic era, please click here.

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