Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Ambroise Paré shown amputating a leg on the battlefield

One of the many of Amboise Paré’s surgical innovations was to tie off the blood vessels severed during amputations rather than cauterize them to stop the bleeding. This approach yielded greatly improved results but was much more time consuming because as many as fifty ligatures may have been needed during one amputation.

Ambroise Paré amputating leg on battlefield. Ernest Board, c. 1912. Wellcome Collection.

In this painting by Ernest Board, c.1912, Paré is shown using this technique during the siege of Damvillers (1552) in the war between the Habsburgs and the French royal house of Valois.

Spring 2020



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