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Anastomosis button, London, England, 1925-1935

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 button splits in two and two ends of gut are closed around each half. The button is snapped shut and the gut is held in position to heal. The button would later be passed by the patient when it was no longer needed. This removed the need for stitching and was invented by an American surgeon, Joseph Benjamin Murphy (1857-1916), in 1892. Five years later he used the button in blood-vessel surgery. The button replaced May Robson’s bobbins (object number A612083).

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Glossary: anastomosis button

No description.

Glossary: anastomosis

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

Glossary: gastro-intestinal surgery

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