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Gigli-type surgical saw, Europe, 1894-1945

Leonardo Gigli (1863-1908) was an Italian surgeon who developed this surgical saw between 1894 and 1897. When in use, two holes were made in the area to be cut, for instance the skull. The metal saw was passed through and the handles attached. The saw cut though the bone without damaging the surrounding area. Although the chain was liable to twist and break it was cheap and easy to replace and store. Removing portions of the skull is known as craniotomy, an operation still carried out today. This object comes from the Harley collection.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: surgical saw

Cutting tools having thin, flat metal blades, bands, or stiff plates with cutting teeth along the edges used in surgery and for procedures such as trephination.

Glossary: craniotomy

Surgical removal of a portion of the skull in order to access the brain. The procedure is also done to a dead foetus in order to ease delivery.