Patients undergoing amputation of a limb would rarely be so phlegmatic as the above illustration suggests. In the mediaeval and early modern period, mortality rates from surgery were high. Traumatised patients who survived an operation might be emotionally scarred for life. Surgeons were most valued for their speed rather than subtlety. In the pre-antiseptic, pre-anaesthetic era, delicate or complex abdominal surgery was rarely possible and typically fatal.