"Hi! My name is Kirsty Earley from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and today I want to talk to you about Trephination. Trephination is one of the oldest surgical techniques in history. It's a process by which a small hole is burred into the skull to get access into the skull cavity.
Before modern medicine, there were a lot of ideas as to why someone might be sick or might have an illness. Some believed that if you were sick you had evil spirits in you and they had to be let out. So, they would burr a hole in your skull to let the evil spirits out and you would get better. Others saw trephination as the go-to technique to cure most illnesses, from a cold to a headache.
Trephination was carried out with a small instrument known as a Trephine. The practitioner would take the trephine and place it against the skull. They would then turn the handle and burr a hole manually into the skull.
Trephination is still used today, but in very different circumstances- it's usually used to relieve pressure from within the skull cavity. The instruments today are different too in that it's an automatic drill that's used and not a manual trephine. The removal of bone from the skull is usually referred to as a Craniotomy. However, the basic mechanism of creating a hole to get access to the inside of the skull dates back many years."