Set of stomach pumping instruments, with accessories for rectal and vaginal use, by S. Maw, Son and Thompson, London, 1870-1901
A large brass piston action syringe and flexible tubing are contained in this combined stomach pump and enema set. There are also accessories for rectal and vaginal use including a wooden cone-shaped instrument for treating prolapsed piles. It was made by London medical instrument makers S. Maw, Son and Thompson. The set fits into a wooden box with recessed velvet compartments.
An enema is the introduction of liquid into the rectum. The treatment dates back to ancient Egypt. It was a common treatment during the 1800s when this set was made. Enemas are now administered before certain surgery to either wash out the lower bowel as a hygiene measure, or introduce medications, salts or minerals into the body. In the past they were prescribed for complaints and ailments as minor as indigestion or headaches.