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Part 2

In the first place it should be known in what sort of a place they are formed. For cutting, excising, sewing, binding, applying putrefacient means to the anus,-all these appear to be very formidable things, and yet, after all, they are not attended with mischief. I recommend seven or eight small pieces of iron to be prepared, a fathom in size, in thickness like a thick specillum, and bent at the extremity, and a broad piece should be on the extremity, like a small obolus1. Having on the preceding day first purged the man with medicine, on the day of the operation apply the cautery. Having laid him on his back, and placed a pillow below the breech, force out the anus as much as possible with the fingers, and make the irons red-hot, and burn the pile until it be dried up, and so as that no part may be left behind. And burn so as to leave none of the hemorrhoids unburnt, for [p. 352]you should burn them all up. You will recognize the hemorrhoids without difficulty, for they project on the inside of the gut like dark-colored grapes, and when the anus is forced out they spurt blood. When the cautery is applied the patient's head and hands should be held so that he may not stir, but he himself should cry out, for this will make the rectum project the more. When you have performed the burning, boil lentils and tares, finely triturated in water, and apply as a cataplasm for five or six days. But on the seventh, cut a soft sponge into a very slender slice, its width should be about six inches square. Then a thin smooth piece of cloth, of the same size as the sponge, is to be smeared with honey and applied; and with the index finger of the left hand the middle of the sponge is to be pushed as far up as possible; and afterward wool is to be placed upon the sponge so that it may remain in the anus. And having girded the patient about the loins and fastened a shawl to the girdle, bring up this band from behind between the legs and attach it to the girdle at the navel. Then let the medicine which I formerly said is calculated to render the skin thick and strong, be bound on. These things should be kept on for not less than twenty days. The patient should once a day take a draught from flour or millet, or bran, and drink water. When the patient goes to stool the part should be washed with hot water. Every third day he should take the bath.

1 I would direct the attention of my surgical readers to the form of the ancient cautery orburning iron; it resembles a small coin, that is to say, it was a disk. I have often thought that modern practitioners in surgery erred in making their cauteries globular, instead of making them flat disks like the ancient.

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