Monday, August 11, 2008

Bloodless Surgery, Closer Than We Think! (1959)

The November 15, 1959 edition of Closer Than We Think, (syndicated by the Chicago Tribune, written and illustrated by Arthur Radebaugh), predicted "bloodless surgery."
With the development of an "atomic knife," tomorrow's hospital operations may be as easy on the patient as relaxing in an easy chair - no incisions, no bleeding. The technique has already been used successfully in reducing hormone flow from the pituitary, in relieving depressed mental states by "cutting" brain segments, in treating certain cases of cancer.

Specialists at the University of California and in Uppsala, Sweden, have been able to destroy unwanted tissues by directing a proton beam toward them. Later, many researchers feel, the method may be used in any operation that doesn't require reconnecting of tissues.

Next week: Stop-and-Go Rockets

A special thanks to Tom Z. for today's scan.

Read More:
Our Friend the Atom (1956)
How Experts Think We'll Live in 2000 A.D. (1950)


Anonymous said...

Nuclear powered lobotomy, anyone?

Anonymous said...

This was about a year before we started hearing about ruby "masers" (an early version of laser technology, which turned out to be a more appropriate path toward "bloodless" surgery). From the patient's point of view, the artwork here is emblematic of a passive midcentery attitude toward both medicine and technology (just-lie-there-and-be-done-to-or-ministered-to). And for rejoining tissue, who would have predicted surgical glue?

Anonymous said...

Didn't they use radiation to clear up acne in the 50s?

Unknown said...

Cancer radiotherapy is of course common, and sometimes it involves synchrocyclotrons, but calling it "bloodless surgery" seems strange.

Lots of creepy subtext there in the artwork, definitely.

Anonymous said...

The gamma knife was invented in Sweden in 1967.

Anonymous said...

They have had bloodless surgery since the 60's. A friend of mine had a triple bipass without blood in the 60's. His Dr. said they just use blood to bad surgical techniques.