- Time Period: 1700s to 1800s
While the hemiglossectomy is still performed today, it is VERY rare to see. This is the surgery used to remove part of a person’s tongue. Often, we only remove it today due to oral cancer in an attempt to cut it out and prevent the spread. Now keep in mind for a second that, again, this involves the literal removal of a part of your tongue. Are we all following? Good, because you would assume that removing any section of the tongue would make talking a bit harder.
However, this surgery used to be done in the 18th and 19th centuries in an attempt to correct a stutter. At the time, several physicians believed the tongue was to blame for speech problems. Thus, removing a small or large part of the tongue only made sense, right? No. It NEVER worked. In fact, some people died and many more experienced even worse speech-related issues. Old medical treatments like this were barbaric and there was no medical evidence to prove it even worked!