Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Maria Nicholaievna => Topic started by: GDSophie on December 27, 2017, 12:31:05 PM

Title: Maria's Tonsil Operation
Post by: GDSophie on December 27, 2017, 12:31:05 PM
Was Maria put to sleep when this was being done? I don't know much about medical procedures in the early 1910s but I know chloroform existed, but how would that be able to hold her mouth open for it to be done? There's no other mention of anyone else other than Alexandra and the doctor being in the room, unless they used chloroform on her and they either used some sort of device to hold her mouth open or Alexandra herself held her jaw open, and why did she need her tonsils removed anyway? Did she have tonsillitis during that time?
Title: Re: Maria's Tonsil Operation
Post by: Kalafrana on December 27, 2017, 01:58:49 PM
Tonsil operations were quite frequently done without anaesthetic as late as the 1920s - see Roald Dahl's book Boy.

As far as keeping the patient's mouth open when using ether or chloroform, I would imagine that technique was to give the patient enough to knock them out and then work fast!

Ann
Title: Re: Maria's Tonsil Operation
Post by: TimM on December 27, 2017, 06:05:32 PM
Quote
why did she need her tonsils removed anyway? Did she have tonsillitis during that time?

Well, I'm no medical expert, but that's usually the reason they remove tonsils. 
Title: Re: Maria's Tonsil Operation
Post by: GDSophie on December 28, 2017, 07:47:15 AM
Quote
why did she need her tonsils removed anyway? Did she have tonsillitis during that time?

Well, I'm no medical expert, but that's usually the reason they remove tonsils. 

But wouldn't have Alexandra mentioned it somewhere that Maria had tonsillitis; if she wrote in letters to Nicholas and in her diary about the girls on M. Becker I'm pretty sure she would have mentioned this but I can't find her writing about it anywhere.
Title: Re: Maria's Tonsil Operation
Post by: edubs31 on December 28, 2017, 10:57:31 PM
Quote
why did she need her tonsils removed anyway? Did she have tonsillitis during that time?

Well, I'm no medical expert, but that's usually the reason they remove tonsils. 

But wouldn't have Alexandra mentioned it somewhere that Maria had tonsillitis; if she wrote in letters to Nicholas and in her diary about the girls on M. Becker I'm pretty sure she would have mentioned this but I can't find her writing about it anywhere.

Possible she decided to omit it from her diaries & correspondence on account of it being a somewhat traumatic episode for her daughter. Maria is said to have hemorrhaged during the procedure, yes? And we know Nicholas seemed to have a fear of dental work on his own teeth. Perhaps this was an episode the family was simply happy to forget about.
Title: Re: Maria's Tonsil Operation
Post by: Kalafrana on December 29, 2017, 04:24:07 AM
Since tonsils were normally removed after frequent attacks of tonsillitis over a period of months at least, I would expect to see some reference over a period. Something along the lines of, 'Poor Marie has another terrible sore throat.'

Ann
Title: Re: Maria's Tonsil Operation
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on July 29, 2018, 03:44:43 AM
The jaw actually hangs open by itself. It takes muscle to keep your mouth shut. That's why your mouth often hangs open while you sleep! (It's also why the jaw is wired shut before the viewing of a body.)

I don't have any information about Maria's surgery for sure, but I would expect if anyone would have access to anesthesia for it, the tsar's family would.