Before the advent of general anaesthesia, surgeons would still do their best to render their patients insensible and immobile. Mesmerism in various guises was common. However, French surgeon Guillaume Dupuytren's technique was unorthodox even by the standards of the age. His remarks to upper-class female patients were reputedly of a coarseness so shocking that it caused them to fall into a faint.
Refs and Further Reading
Anaesthesia and Anaesthetics