Embryotomy hook


Item details

Object number M-136
Place England
Date 1930
Category Surgical tools and equipment
Material Metal


Embryotomy or foetotomy (depending on stage of pregnancy) was a procedure used in cases of foetal death to assist the removal of a foetus through the birth canal to reduce the risk and trauma to the mother. The procedure, using embryotomy or foetotomy hooks and various cutting tools, was first used in early Greek and Roman times but very rarely used after the beginning of the 20th century, except in veterinary settings, as other less barbaric methods of extraction became available. This specimen has a detachable hook which screws into the handle with a spring-lock action.