Cauterization in the Work of Ibn Al Qaf Masihi (1233-1286 AD)-Medical Heritage of 13th Century
AbstractKayi (cauterization) involves the branding of non-healing lesions or any body part with hot metals, oils, drugs or hot water. Kayi is prescribed in ancient Greco-Arabian medicine for treating a wide range of ailments including infections, cancers, dislocations and disorders of temperament. Ibn al-Qaf Masihi was a thirteenth century physician-surgeon who provided a comprehensive understanding into cauterization, its methodology and clinical applications. His treattise, Kitāb al ̒Umda Fī Şanā’t al-Jarrāḥ contains an extensive account of operative procedures, instruments and case reports on many surgical procedures including kayi. According to him, kayi is best done in spring season if there is no emergency, iron should be preferred for cautery over gold, and treatment by kayi should be attempted only if medicines are ineffective and proper evacuation of morbid humors has been carried out. Masihi advised cauterization of the head, face, neck, chest, abdomen and over affected lesions comprising of a total of 44 conditions including apoplexy, sciatica, delicate structures like eye in epiphora, nose etc.
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