John Arderne, Medieval Proctologist


The instruments depicted [above], from left to right, are: the ‘sequere me’ (‘follow me’) a flexible probe, so called because it was the guide to be followed by other instruments; a syringe; the ‘Acus rostrata’ or snouted needle, a grooved director along which the scalpel was passed; the ‘fraenum Caesaris’ or strong thread, a ligature that constricted the rectal side of the fistula; the ‘tendiculum’, which was used to keep the ligature taut whilst the fistula was being divided; another syringe. The ‘cochlear’ (or shield) is shown at the top; this was probably held by the surgeon’s mate and was used to protect the rectum during the operation. At the bottom is another snouted needle accompanied by a razor like scalpel.

Ever wonder where medical professions like Proctology originated? These instruments are some of the crazy stuff utilized in early Proctology by visionary John Arderne.

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