Contributions of Medieval Islamic physicians to the history of tracheostomy

Anesth Analg. 2013 May;116(5):1123-1132. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3182884313. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Tracheostomy was first described by Greco-Roman physicians, including Paulus of Aegina. Medieval Islamic clinicians extended the Greco-Roman ideas with substantial contributions to the field of surgery, including tracheostomy. Although Al-Zahrawi (936-1013 CE) stated that he had not heard or read of any Islamic physicians having performed tracheostomy, there is evidence that many prominent Islamic surgeons did practice this lifesaving procedure during medieval times. Throughout the Islamic Golden Age, Muslim physicians advanced the practice of tracheostomy with many modifications of the procedure, instrumentation, and adjuvant medicinal prescriptions.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Arab World / history
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Islam / history
  • Medicine, Arabic / history*
  • Physicians / history
  • Tracheostomy / history*