Antique Allen & Hanbury London Hysterectomy Clamp


Antique Allen & Hanbury London Hysterectomy Clamp

This instrument presented one of the most challenging experiences I have had trying to identify an object. There is very little information available about this particular type of clamp, which was probably only used for a short amount of time before it was replaced with an updated design.

These t-shaped clamp forceps by Allen & Hanbury London were used in a particular type of surgical procedure, the Wertheim Hysterectomy (also known as a radical hysterectomy), an operation performed for cervical cancer, in which the uterus, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, upper vagina, broad ligaments, parametrium, and regional lymph nodes are removed.

The jaws were used in a manner that reaches over the center of the uterus to avoid the ureters located just laterally on both sides. 

In 1898, Wertheim, a Viennese physician, developed the radical total hysterectomy, and in 1905, Wertheim reported the outcomes of his first 270 patients. The operative mortality rate was 18%, and the major morbidity rate was 31%.

In the late 20th century, radiation therapy became the favoured approach because of the high mortality and morbidity of the surgical approach.

I was unable to pinpoint when this tool was manufactured, but it was most likely around the late 1800s-early 1900s when the procedure was first introduced.

It measures an imposing 25cm in length, with the serrated jaws measuring approximately 6.5cm across.

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