Female Genital Tract Anomalies Treatment through Surgery in Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine (980–1037 CE)

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Traditional Persian Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of History of Science, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University, Istanbul, Turkey


Persian scientists of ancient times made a significant contribution to the field of surgery. Among them, Avicenna (980–1037 CE) provided the most detailed presentation of surgical procedures. The present paper aimed to review Avicenna’s great medical encyclopedia, Canon of Medicine, on ratqā (a female genital tract anomaly) related to gynecologic diseases. Avicenna was familiar with different causes of female genital tract anomalies. He described their signs, symptoms, natural courses, treatments and outcomes. He also noted that surgery was the only treatment of imperforate hymen or any type of vaginal agenesis. He elaborated interestingly on the operation instruments, patient positioning before operation, and the operation method, complications, post-operative and follow-up care. Although many surgical procedures described were previously mentioned by his Persian, Arab, Greek or Indian predecessors, he extended their comments and techniques in many ways, which shows that he not only pointed out related theories but practiced them himself.


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