Yes, exactly like a hole in the head!
October 16, 2008 6:05 AM Subscribe
[Warning: Not Safe For the Squeamish] "An Illustrated History of Trepanation"
posted by not_on_display (71 comments total)
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: Although the reasons for trepanning and the instruments used for the procedure differ with time and from culture to culture, the result is always the same: a hole in the head, usually made when the individual was fully conscious and, often, unanaesthetized.
• • From an interview with Heather Perry, who trepanned herself
: "I used a hand trepan initially, but that wasn't proving to be terribly successful. Then there was a problem with the people who owned the property we were staying in, so we decided we'd have to just leave it. I wrapped my head up in a towel and we got out of there. A couple of days later, we had another go. We abandoned the hand trepan and got an electric drill instead." • • And, of course, the home version of the game.
Trepanation has been practiced for a long time, and across cultures. The Incas were practitioners
: "A new study by two American anthropologists now provides evidence that the Incas performed trepanation to treat head injuries; that the procedure was far more common than was previously thought; and that the Incan practitioners of trepanation were highly skilled surgeons with a detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the skull.
Today we are more clinical about the procedures involved in messing with the skull to affect the contents therein, but only sometimes. Heather Perry followed in the footsteps of many other relatively recent self-trepanners:
• Bart Huges
, who advocates self-trepanation based upon his theories about the amount of blood flowing in your brain or some jazz like that... here's an interview
• Huges' disciple Pete Halvorson, who directs the International Trepanation Advocacy Group [website defunct, unfortunately, but here's a 1998 WashPost article
and a 1999 Salon article
• husband-and-wife Joey Mellen
and Amanda Fielding
, "The People With Holes in Their Heads"
• and this dude who kept an extensive diary and q&a about his self-trepanation
. "This weekend I had a hole drilled through my skull... We were using a flex-shaft Dremmel with a ball burr and a flame-shaped burr. The process would turn the bone and marrow to dust which would be rinsed away as we went, down to the meninges, at which point the brain would be pulsating visibly as our sign of success..."
(Spoiler: he wasn't satisfied, wouldn't do it again, but hey.)
There is a documentary called, guess what: "A Hole in the Head"
. (I know, huh?! They must have tweaked that part of the brain that comes up with the new-and-unexpected documentary titles).
• Here's their trailer
• Clip 1: Trepanning in Africa
(SQUICK FACTOR 9.7)
• Clip 2: interviews with DIY-trepanners
• Clip 3: The Beatles' purported interest in trepanation
. (spoiler: Turns out Huges sez John Lennon already had third eye, didn't need a trep whutevah kthxbai.)
Of course, the internet wouldn't be complete without www.trepanationguide.com
This FPP was inspired by louche mustachio's comment and nickyskye's reply in nicky's own holes-in-heads post. Previously, previouslier, previousliest. Via Neurophilosophy.