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Lawson Tait-type gallstone forceps, London, England, 1902-1930

Used in gallstone surgery and ovarian surgery, this type of forceps was invented by pioneering surgeon Robert Lawson Tait (1845-1899). He is mostly linked to ovariotomy – the removal of the ovaries – a procedure which had led to a high number of deaths. Tait changed operating procedures to improve this situation. The removal of the ovary and the Fallopian tube became known as ‘Tait’s operation’. Gallstones are solid lumps or stones that can form in the gallbladder or bile duct. They are created when chemicals stored in the gallbladder harden into a mass. These forceps are designed to grasp then remove gallstones directly from the gallbladder.

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Glossary: gallstone forceps

No description.

Glossary: ovarian surgery

No description.

Glossary: gallstone

A solid mass formed in the gallbladder composed of cholesterol and bile salts.

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.