The Application of Venesection (FASD) in Medical and Surgical Practice by Ibn al-Quff in the Islamic Era (1233-1286)

Document Type: Short Communication


1 Assistant professor of General surgery, Department of surgery, Medical college, Al Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2 Medical college, Al Imam Mohammad ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU)

3 Medical college, Jouf University, Saudi Arabia

4 Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

5 Kasralainy Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt


Venesection (FASD) (or the practice of drawing blood from a vein as a medical therapy) was first introduced by Ibn al-Quff in the 12th century, described in his book, al Omdaa (Arabic version). He explained in details how venesection (FASD) or bloodletting would help to relieve different infectious and dermatological diseases as well as some tumours.
A comprehensive literature review was done using PubMed and Google Scholar. Papers written on Ibn al-Quff’s work and his contribution to medical knowledge, including those on venesection were selected. Chapter 10 of Ibn al-Quff’s (in Arabic) manuscript describes extensively the reasons and procedures for venesection.
Ibn al-Quff discussed the efficacy of venesection in multiple medical conditions such as inflammatory, infectious, and haematological tumours and other cases. The vast use of venesection raises the concern, especially regarding its inefficiency in some current medical treatments.
Ibn al-Quff talked about venesection in a way not suitable for his time. Venesection, in comparison to hemodilution, has a role in medical practice. Multiple applications of Ibn al-Quff’s venesection require more studies in current medical practices.