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Liston-type amputation knife, Surrey, England, 1980

Robert Liston (1797-1847), a Scottish surgeon, invented this type of amputation knife. Liston knives have two different edges on the blade, which improves efficiency during operations – Liston was renowned for his speed and precision. Made by Downs Surgical Ltd., from stainless steel, the knife could easily be sterilised, without rusting and used in aseptic surgery.

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    Glossary: amputation knife

    A broad-bladed knife used primarily for cutting large muscles during major amputations of limbs

    Glossary: amputation

    Removal of part of, or a whole limb by surgery. Used to control pain or the spread of disease in the affected limb.

    Glossary: aseptic

    Free from bacterial contamination; surgically sterile or sterilized.