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Trephination set, cased, London, England, 1771-1800

This trephination set had all the necessary equipment to perform surgery on the skull. Also known as trepanation, it is surgical practice with ancient origins. This is a nine-piece set containing forceps, an elevator for lifting up bone fragments, a lenticular to depress brain material during surgery, a brush, a rugine to scrape the covering surface of bones which attach to muscles and tendons, and a trephine with three bits and a key to undo the drill. The set was manufactured by Guest, a surgical instrument maker based in London during the late 1700s.

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    Glossary: lenticular

    Referring to or shaped like a lentil, such as the lens of the eye

    Glossary: trephine

    An instrument for trepanning, being an historical advancement on the trepan. It is a circular or cylindrical saw, with a handle like that of a gimlet, and a little sharp perforator called the center pin.

    Glossary: trephination set

    Instrument set to perform trephination (Removal of a circular piece ("button") of cranium by a trephine)

    Glossary: rugine

    drinking cup

    Glossary: skull elevator

    No description.

    Glossary: trephination

    The removal of a circular piece of the top of the head. This is done using a sharp implement or circular saw, and was common in Neolithic times. It is thought that the aim was to release evil demons or spirits from the body in the hope this would cure the person of their illness.

    Glossary: forceps

    A pliers-like medical instrument used to grasp tissue.