Holes in the head: the most successful trepanation were made by the Incas

writing BLes – the technique called craniotomy, brain piercing, which is applied today when the patient's life is in danger, it was already practiced in antiquity to heal or to fulfill religious rituals. But even more: A recent study found that approximately 80% of these surgical interventions performed by the Incas were successful.

Recent scientific studies published in World Neurosurgery magazine, headed by Dr.  David Kushner, reveal the amazing results of the "ranking" survival of this technique of surgical intervention, in which the Incas, more than any other group, achieved that between 75% and 83% of patients lived to tell.

It is believed that this technique began about 7.000 years ago, since that was the age of a perforated skull found in Alsace, a French region adjacent to Germany, two decades ago.

During the Civil War (1861 to 1865), the survival was 50%. The 59 skulls from Peru, whose age corresponds to 400 to 200 years BC, analyzed by Kushner and his team, showed that the survival rate at that time was 40%; However, the 421 skulls of the period between 1000 and 1400 A.D. showed that this figure was 53% and 160 specimens from CUZCO between 1400 to 1500 A.D. showed that the survival rate was from 75% to 83%.

This reveals that the ancient Peruvians refined the surgical method, according to the Bioarchaeologist Corey Ragsdale, of the University of Southern Illinois.

The investigators found no evidence of the procedure of the application of anesthesia, but they did report that the Incas practiced this technique to treat chronic headaches or mental illnesses.

His technique was to make small perforations and it is believed that they worked in better hygienic conditions because they used stone tools that were sterile and decreased the risk of infection, unlike the metal tools of the Roman era that They were washed with water and reused, spreading infections.

"We don't know what they used as anesthesia either, but because there were so many (cranial surgeries) they must have used something, possibly coca leaves or a fermented beverage. There are no written records so we just don't know, "said Kushner.

Today, the survival of this intervention is increased thanks to new advances in technology and diagnostics.