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Aspasia and Cleopatra Metrodora, Two Majestic Female Physician – Surgeons in the Early Byzantine Era

Introduction: Female physicians in antiquity were doomed to oblivion, pushed aside by their male colleagues. Aspasia and Metrodora have accomplished to leave their stigma and ameliorated the surgical techniques of the era.

Objective: The objective of this review is to provide all available knowledge concerning to those two significant female historical medical figures.

Methodology: A thorough search in the digital library of the Greek literature TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae) was performed combined with a search in electronic databases such as Google Scholar, Scopus and PubMed. The key terms that have been used during the review were Aspasia, Metrodora, surgery, gynaecology, and Byzantium.

Results: Both Aspasia and Metrodora performed a series of innovative surgical operations during their era.

Conclusion: Aspasia's venesection, shemorrhoidectomy, hysterectomy, open subinguinal varicelectomy and hydrocelectomy and Metrodora's breast and face reconstruction, re-suturing of the vaginal hymen and breast and uterus cancer excisions, present great similarities to modern surgery.


Tsoucalas Gregory and Sgantzos Markos

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