Intestinal biopsy tube, London, England, 1954-1958
A biopsy is a procedure where a small piece of tissue is removed from the body for study under a microscope. A small knife in a tiny capsule at the end of the tube, which measures over a metre long, is passed down into the digestive tract. X-rays are used to locate the area to be sampled. When suction is applied a small piece of the intestine is snipped off and the tube removed. The tissue is sent to a laboratory for further tests. The process allows an investigation of the body, without the need for a major surgical operation. Made by the Genito-Urinary Manufacturing Company, this is one of the first intestinal biopsy tubes ever made. Margot Shiner (1923-1993), a surgeon and paediatrician in the early 1950s, developed the technique of intestinal biopsy and used this very tube.
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