A 16th Century illustration of a catheterization procedure.

The first urinary catheter is reported to have been passed by John of Gaddesden (1300-1367) and catheterization was illustrated in some of the earliest texts. When a tube could not easily be passed into the bladder to relieve the obstruction, other procedures to enter the bladder were devised, some quite novel, though all probably as painful and dangerous as the condition itself!

Chapter 7. Urology

"The cure itself is something horrible, grave, and perilous. The mind recoiled at the thought of so frightful a remedy, but what remedy seems frightful when it carries hope to people in peril of death?"

— Anon, 16th century

Topics covered in this chapter include:
  • Early Medical Therapy
  • Kidney Stones — The Cause
    • The Medical Treatment of Stones
    • The Surgical Treatment of Stones
    • Of Bladder Stones and Nursery Rhymes
  • Early Urologic Surgery
  • The Moveable Kidney
  • Bright's Disease