Pass me a bistoury

“A writer uses pen instead of a scalpel…”

Michael Ondaatje

A scalpel is a small knife with an extremely sharp blade. It is used for surgery, anatomical dissection and during pandemic lockdowns, hobbies and craftwork. Obsidian scalpels date from around 2100 BCE. Evidence suggests that their main use was for trephination. The first purpose built metal scalpels were essentially lancets and mainly used to puncture or pierce. Often they were made from highly decorated silver which served as evidence of competency for the owner. After sepsis and careful surgery became a thing the design of scalpels changed. Charles Bard and Maquire Parker obtained a 1915 patent for system of numbered disposable blades on a re-usable handle. The BP handle was born. The above photo shows a 19th Century scalpel and a curved bistoury. A bistoury is a highly specific surgical knife, in this case to divide the lacunar ligament in femoral hernia repair. #surgicalnerdalso #letsmakelemonade

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