Surgery in Ancient Egypt

Surgery was practiced in Ancient Egypt, although the scope of procedures was limited compared to modern surgery. Some of the surgical techniques practiced in Ancient Egypt include:

1. Trepanation – a procedure in which a hole was drilled into the skull to relieve pressure or treat head injuries. 2. Amputation – used to treat infected or injured limbs, often as a last resort. 3. Dental surgery – extractions of teeth and treatment of dental abscesses were common. 4. Incision and drainage – used to treat abscesses and infected wounds. 5. Cesarean section – performed in emergency situations where the mother was in danger and the baby had to be delivered. Ancient Egyptian surgeons used a variety of tools, including knives, scalpels, forceps, and bone saws.

They practiced techniques such as cauterization, stitching, and bandaging to help prevent infection and promote healing. Surgeries happened by specialized individuals famous as “swnw” or “snwt,” which translates to “healer” or “physician.”  Preparation for surgery often included purification rituals and the use of amulets for protection. The surgical instruments and techniques that were  in Ancient Egypt were also important their religious and spiritual beliefs.

Cesarean sections

They were good at extreme cases where the life of the mother or baby was at risk. The procedure involved making an incision in the abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby. It’s important to note that surgery in Ancient Egypt carried significant risks due to the lack of scientific understanding, sterile techniques, and post-operative care.

Nevertheless, the ancient Egyptians demonstrated a remarkable level of skill in surgical procedures, as well as an understanding of anatomical structures and the importance of wound care.


The practice of surgery in Ancient Egypt happened by the available technology, materials, and medical knowledge of the time. Despite this, the ancient Egyptians made significant contributions to the development of surgical techniques and tools, which have paved the way for the modern practice of surgery.