18th century french illustration of trepanation

Trepanation, also known as trephinning or trepanning is a form of surgery where a hole is cut into the skull.

Trepanation has been carried out for non-medical reasons, including religious and mystical practices. Some trepanation advocates believe the procedure to have spiritual benefits, but it is generally not carried out by doctors without a medical indication.

There is evidence of trepanation in pre-historic human remains. See also: Trephinning in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica

The operation is depicted in a painting by the artist Hieronymus Bosch entitled The Cure for Folly: Trepanning, alternatively entitled The Stone Operation.

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