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Sims-type hysterotome, Paris, France, 1867-1900

The hysterotome or metrotome is used to amputate the cervix during a hysterectomy. This was a treatment for chronic inflammation and prolapse of the uterus. This type of hysterotome was invented by James Marion Sims (1813-1883), an American gynaecologist.

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    Glossary: hysterotome

    An instrument for cutting or scarifying the uterus or the neck of the uterus, especially the cervix

    Glossary: prolapse

    The falling down or sinking, of a part. To fall out of place.

    Glossary: incontinence

    The inability to control the passage of urine or faeces.

    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: uterus

    The hollow reproductive organ in female mammals. The uterus is where the foetus develops after conception. The word 'womb' is often used among non-medical people to refer to the same area.

    Glossary: inflammation

    The body’s response to injury. An inflammation is marked by redness, heat, pain, swelling, and often loss of function. The process leads to the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.

    Glossary: gynaecology

    A branch of medicine dealing with the treatment of disorders affecting the female reproductive system.

    Glossary: cervix

    Neck of the uterus, projecting downwards into the vagina.