Perineal excision of the rectum.

  • Videos
  • Online

Available online

Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

You can use this work for any purpose, as long as it is not primarily intended for or directed to commercial advantage or monetary compensation. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence. Read more about this licence.


Perineal excision of the rectum. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


Reel 1: preliminary colostomy; manual exploration of abdomen; colon mobilised; glass rod inserted; wound closed; rectum later excised. Spinal anaesthesia. Anus removed. Incision; coccyx separated, levatores ani divided, rectum mobilised. Reel 2: rectum mobilised posteriorly, etc. Post-op care. 4 segments.


England, 1930.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image : silent, black and white



Copyright note

British Medical Association.

Terms of use

Open with advisory.


Segment 1 The patient is wheeled into the operating theatre and moved onto the operating table. The preliminary colostomy is shown: an incision is made in the abdomen and the surgeon explores the wound. The pelvic colon is pulled through the wound and a glass rod inserted. The wound is sutured closed with the rod and part of the colon still exposed. This area is dressed. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:06:43:02 Length: 00:06:43:02
Segment 2 The next stage is excision of the rectum, which the intertitles state takes place a week to ten days later. The intertitles describe the anaesthetics administered, and that a hard catheter has been placed in the urethra to act as a guide. A spinal anaesthetic is seen being given. The anus is sutured closed. The incision is made around the anus, and the coccyx is separated with hammer-and-chisel type instruments. Scissors are used to divide the levator ani muscles. This is the end of Part One. Part Two begins. The rectum is separated from the prostate. Time start: 00:06:43:02 Time end: 00:13:00:00 Length: 00:06:16:23
Segment 3 The peritoneum is opened and a gauze pack placed in the cavity. The meso-rectum is divided and tied off. Surgery is performed on the colon, and wet gauze inserted to protect the wound. The bowel is clamped and divided by electric cautery. The end of the bowel is tied and sutured. Time start: 00:13:00:00 Time end: 00:19:03:14 Length: 00:06:03:04
Segment 4 The peritoneum is closed with sutures. A pointer indicates the urethra, prostate, peritoneum and stump of the colon. The wound is closed and the patient removed on a trolley. The removed rectum is displayed and the growth is pointed out, as well as the areas affected by the surgery. The male patient is shown in bed. The wound is shown three weeks after the operation, and the patient is also seen, walking around in a dressing gown and smiling. Time start: 00:19:03:14 Time end: 00:26:13:14 Length: 00:07:10:00

Creator/production credits

Produced by J. P. Lockhart-Mummery


Permanent link