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Self retaining skin retractor

Item details

Object number M-959
Manufacturer Downs
Place United Kingdom
Date 1930s
Donor Dr R Mantz
Category Surgical tools and equipment


Most surgical procedures require the retraction of the dermis from the targeted surgical area, during theatre. Whilst invasive surgery has largely been transferred to hospital contexts it was a common activity within general practice, until the middle of the twentieth century. Retraction of the dermal layers during surgery ensured that dermal surface areas impacted by surgical procedure could be retained, and stitched together so as to protect any wounds, at procedural conclusion. The retractor shown is believed to date from 1930. The manufacturer’s specifics are not known.