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Necessity Is Mother of Invention

  • Date Submitted: 02/19/2012 06:13 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 36.1 
  • Words: 477
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History points to Plato, student of Socrates, and teacher of Aristotle as the first written source of the idea that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”. The more people that suffer with a particular problem, the greater becomes the necessity to find a solution to that problem.

The ailments, diseases, pestilences and plagues that befell mankind, have gradually yielded to the advances of medical science. These advances progressed with increasing acceleration over the past 300 years and marked acceleration over the past 100 years. The result is that life expectancy in the United States greatly increased and those over 50, once a minority has now become a much greater proportion of the population. One major problem in this age group is prostate enlargement. Untreated, this condition often led to a miserable period of painful suffering with stone formation, infection, and bleeding until kidney failure finally ended the agony with the onset of uremic blood poisoning and terminal coma.

Benjamin Franklin, a brilliant scientist and inventor, suffered with bladder stones complicating his prostate condition. This gave old Ben enough of a “Necessity” so he “Mothered” or invented the silk woven flexible catheter to periodically empty his own bladder.

By 1877, the cystoscope was invented by Dr. Max Nitze and for the first time, portions of the urinary bladder interior could be examined directly. Each advance was followed by others. Every scientist knew that his contribution was only made possible because he stood on the shoulders of those who preceded him. Anesthesia, blood transfusions, and antibiotic therapy ushered in the surgical age, now with minimally invasive techniques and robotics.

It’s possible in most cases to relieve the symptoms of a benign but obstructive prostate without resorting to surgery at all. Medications are available to shrink the glandular portion and relax the muscular portion of the prostate. There are times however when for any one of a...


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