Radical amputation of the left breast for duct carcinoma.

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Radical amputation of the left breast for duct carcinoma. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


A film showing the mastectomy of a breast to treat breast cancer. Introduction, incision, lymphatic drainage, skin undercut; pectoral muscles divided at insertion; axilla dissected; axillary structures demonstrated; specimen amputated; wound closed and dressed; macroscopic appearance of specimen. 3 segments.


England, 1930.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (16.12 min.) : silent, black and white



Copyright note

Copyright previously held by British Medical Association and assigned to Wellcome in 2005

Terms of use

Public Domain Mark


Segment 1 The patient is prepared for surgery. The patient's history is given. A doctor presses the area of the breast where the tumour is located, and a blood stained discharge comes from the nipple. An incision around the breast is made. A diagram shows the location of the lymph nodes, and the way in which the lymphatic draining of the breast happens. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:11:24 Length: 00:04:11:24
Segment 2 The surgery continues. The skin is undercut. The pectoral muscles are divided. The axilla is dissected and the axillary glands removed. The blood vessels and nerves of the area are pointed out. The breast and pectoral muslces are removed from the chest wall. The vessels on the chest wall are ligatured. Time start: 00:04:11:24 Time end: 00:11:40:19 Length: 00:07:28:20
Segment 3 The blood vessels and nerves of the area are pointed out again. The wound is closed and bandaged. The amputated breast is dissected and the tumour is displayed. Time start: 00:11:40:19 Time end: 00:16:12:20 Length: 00:04:32:01

Creator/production credits

Produced by Sir Cecil G. Wakeley at King's College Hospital. Filmed by Kodak Medical Films, London.


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