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The illustration represents a device intended to take the place of the tablespoon or the trowel in the closure of the abdomen. The rubber web keeps the bowel from bulging to the side of the instrument and getting in the way, which occurs with the smooth metal depressor. Further, there is the greater advantage of being able to withdraw the instrument through a much smaller opening.
Used in the pelvis, being opened after insertion, it serves as an excellent retractor to hold the bowel back from the pelvic organs without force or the irritation of gauze. There is weight enough to have it retain its position. For this purpose, however, I am having made an instrument with only one bend, and that at right angles.
The rubber webs are replaceabie, withstand boiling, and are moderate in price.
Hadden D. A VISCERAL DEPRESSOR. JAMA. 1913;60(12):897. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340120023010