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The Old Operating Theatre, Museum & Herb Garret

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Newsletter - August 2007




The 'Our Blood' Medical Resource pack has finally arrived! Hot off the press, this colourful A4 poster style pack contains images of 19th century lithotomy and trepanning procedures alongside quotes from the modern surgeon. Each section profiles the amazing architecture, surgical procedures and hauntingly unhygienic practices that once comprised the treatment of patients of the United Hospitals. Complimenting the Museum's "Victorian Surgery" presentation for the GCSE Medicine Through Time option, the pack is a useful As a special introductory offer the pack is available at £9.99 (usual retail price £12.99). See Our Blood for more details or to purchase a copy.



This summer holiday sees some eerie new family fun at the Old Operating Theatre Museum. Starting on Saturday 21st July, The Ghost Train is available all day every day until Sunday 2nd September. A self-guided trail, The Ghost Train makes the most of the spine-tingling atmosphere of the 18th century oak-beamed herb garret and pre-anaesthetic operating theatre by placing intriguing, scary - and sometimes just plain gruesome! - activities on a circuit through the museum. For more information, see the Ghost Train page.



Two large donations were recently received, from Mr Andrew Poore and Mr David Nelson. Items donated varied from surgical kits, knives and saws, to apothecary bottles and jars, with the more unusual artefacts including a "breast reliever" and a commode!


Running from July to September 2007, India Now is a London-wide festival, celebrating all of the diverse aspects of Indian culture; http://www.visitlondon.com/london/india/.

Looking at the way in which the extraordinary surgery of ancient India came to influence 19th century Britain, the Old Operating Theatre Museum will be looking at rhinoplasty. This operation for the reconstruction of the nose was first described by Susruta, the father of ancient Indian surgery and author of one of the greatest early surgical works, the "Susruta Samhita". His ingenious technique was still in use, with a little modification, in 18th century India, British Army surgeons learned it from their Indian counterparts and brought it with them to Britain.

In 1816 Joseph Constantine Carpue published an account of two successful performances of this most ancient operation, demonstrating how the principles laid out in Susruta's ancient work continued to be relevant into the age of the Victorians and beyond. This fascinating topic will be discussed in detail at "Sadism, Syphilis & Surgical Reconstruction", Saturday 1st September at 2pm in the Old Operating Theatre. See the Events Page for further details.

The Old Operating Theatre, Museum & Herb Garret,
9a St Thomas' Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9RY.
Tel: 020 7188 2679 Email: curator@thegarret.org.uk Website: www.thegarret.org.uk

ast Updated: 06 08 2007 Home Page