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Gastro-intestinal bobbins, United Kingdom, 1880-1920

These bobbins would have been used to create a surgical anastomosis, a process by which two sections of hollow organs can be connected together. They were used most commonly during operations on the intestines. The bobbin would be secured by sutures and the gut allowed to heal without narrowing. These bobbins are made from bone with the calcium removed. When the gut had healed the bone was digested. The largest bobbin is 27 mm in diameter and 43 mm high. The smallest is just 4 mm in diameter and 25 mm in height. The bobbins were invented by Sir William Arthur May Robson (1853-1933). However, the bobbins soon fell out of favour once Joseph Benjamin Murphy (1857-1916) invented his anastomosis button in 1892. (See A612075 for an example.)

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Glossary: anastomosis

An opening created by surgical, traumatic or pathological means between two normally separate spaces or organs

Glossary: surgical bobbin

used in abdominal surgery

Glossary: gastro-intestinal surgery

Any type of surgery that addresses problems with the stomach or small intestine.