Thorough analysis of the available archeological and literary evidence reveals that trepanation was widely practiced throughout China thousands of years ago. A significant number of trepanned Chinese skulls have been unearthed showing signs of healing and suggesting that patients survived after surgery. Trepanation was likely performed for both therapeutic and/or spiritual reasons. Medical and historical works from Chinese literature contain descriptions of primitive neurosurgical procedures. These include stories of surgeons, such as the legendary Hua Tuo, and surgical techniques used for the treatment of brain pathologies. The lack of translation of Chinese reports into the English language and/or lack of publications on this topic in the English language may have contributed to the misconception that ancient China was devoid of trepanation. A paper summarizes the available evidence attesting to the performance of successful primitive cranial surgery in ancient China 1).
Department of Neurosurgery, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, 130033, People's Republic of China.
Department of Neurosurgery, Affiliated Zhongshan Hospital of Dalian University
Department of Neurosurgery, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou 350001, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, Hongqi Hospital of Mudanjiang Medical University, Heilongjiang, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, Tuen Mun Hospital, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong, SAR, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, Huzhou Central Hospital, Huzhou, Zhejiang, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330006, People's Republic of China
Department of Neurosurgery, the third hospital affiliated to Soochow.
Department of Neurosurgery, Tianjin Medical University, General Hospital, Tianjin, China
Department of Neurosurgery , Yijishan Hospital, Wannan Medical College , Wuhu , Anhui Province , China
Department of Neurosurgery, Hospital Affiliated with Nanjing Medical University of Wuxi, Wuxi, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Yan'an University, Yan'an, People's Republic of China.