Old-Timey Surgical Instruments That Were Worse Than Death

Lithotome mm surgicalLithotome (1740s-1830s)
Get ready to cringe! The lithotome was an instrument with a curved blade and spring-loaded handle that removed bladder stones. How’d doctors use it? Why, by jamming it up your pee hole of course! Not surprisingly, a steady hand was a must; even a slight mistake could slice the patient open and cause internal bleeding. If your HMO allowed it back in the day, your best bet was to go with Dr. William Cheselden (1688-1752); the dude was known to pop the lithotome in, take care of business, and get out in less than one minute. That minute being the longest minute of the patient’s life.