Haemorrhoid syringe

Item details

Object number M-119
Manufacturer Gabriel
Place London
Date 1930s
Category Syringes
Material Glass, metal


Haemorrhoid syringes have been used since around 1870. Until the early 20th century carbolic acid was used for haemorrhoid injections, but later sclerosing agents, such as 5% phenol in almond or olive oil, or quinine urea, were used. The aim being to cause the vein walls to collapse and the haemorrhoids to shrivel up. Haemorrhoid needles are characterised by a ‘shoulder’ a few millimetres short of the needle tip to prevent deep penetration when injecting. A secure needle-lock ensured that the increased pressure required to inject the viscous oil did not detach the needle and the three-finger grip allowed for a steady injection.  From the 1960s onwards glass syringes were widely replaced by disposable syringes.