Pathology Spotlight- Mycetoma

The above specimen is a vertical section through a foot suffering from  mycetoma, with the toes at the top of the specimen and the heel at the bottom.  Mycetoma is an infection of the skin that has spread into the underlying bones and tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but is most…

Pathology Spotlight: A Historic Black Lung

The specimen shows Coalworker’s Pneumoconiosis or ‘Black Lung’, the scarring lung disease caused by inhaling the dust produced in coalmines. In the 19th century a burgeoning British coal-mining industry supplied fuel for the Industrial Revolution and by the 1830s, around 200,000 British miners were producing 36 million tons of coal per year. It seems obvious…

A Quest for Healing: Contemporary Art by Zhang Yanzi

In April, Surgeons’ Hall Museums opened its newest temporary exhibition ‘A Quest for Healing.’ Created by award-winning Chinese artist Zhang Yanzi, this contemporary art exhibition is the first of its kind to be shown at the museums.   Zhang Yanzi completed a residency in Edinburgh during 2017, where she became inspired by Surgeons’ Hall Museums,…

Pathology Spotlight: Gas Gangrene and Trench Warfare

This specimen comes from a soldier who was injured by a gunshot wound to the left knee in France during August 1917. Much of the trench warfare in France and Flanders during the first world war took place in what had been cultivated fields that would be fertilised with horse manure, meaning that soil would…

Pathology Spotlight: A Holey Kidney

The figure shows the cut surface of a kidney revealing dozens of cysts, like bubbles, visible at the cut surface. Polycystic kidney disease (PCKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the development of numerous cysts of varying size, averaging about 1,000 per kidney. PCKD cysts, which are filled with urine, can enlarge the kidneys, obliterating…

Pathology Spotlight- Bones from Barclay

This specimen comes from the collection of John Barclay, and shows a lower leg where the tibia has fractured, but the bone has not united forming a ‘false joint’ where the two opposing surfaces of the fracture have spread to accommodate one another. Use of the limb following this injury has caused the fibula to…

Corrosion Casts: Sculpture in the Pathology Gallery

Lindsey started a 20 day internship with the museum as part of her postgraduate degree at Edinburgh University. She is working on an inventory of our pathology gallery which includes over 1000 specimens.

Dodged That Bullet

Our Assistant Curator gives us a behind the scenes look into a rather unusual and slightly complicated find in the collection stores.

Intussusception

  This specimen shows ileo-caecal intussusception. Intussusception occurs when one section of the bowel invaginates into the section downstream of it, leading to obstruction of the bowel. It prevents peristalsis moving the food through the gut, leading to intermittent abdominal pain and vomiting. Compression of the intussuscepted bowel can cause obstruction of the blood supply,…

Black Teeth and Tooth Extraction

Dr Paul Geissler, Honourary Curator of the dental collection gives us an insight into 19th Century Japanese dentistry from the museums collections. John Menzies Campbell donated his extensive collection of dental artefacts to the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1966. Among the items he donated is a fascinating and very pleasing…