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Who has been hiding in your tonsillectomy tray? Eponymous instruments in tonsillectomy surgery

  • L Lamprell (a1) and S Ahluwalia (a1) (a2)



Surgeons regularly use eponymous instruments when performing tonsillectomies, yet the stories behind each are not commonly known.

Method and results:

This paper presents the instruments within the tonsillectomy tray, providing a brief biography of their respective surgeon namesakes. The list captures over two centuries of surgical history, and spans the disciplines of ENT, general surgery, gynaecology, anaesthetics and paediatric surgery.


This is the first publication to undertake a historical study of the ensemble of surgeon inventors responsible for the instruments in the tonsillectomy tray as it is today. In furthering knowledge of our forbearer surgeon inventors, who have shaped the tonsillectomy procedure as it is safely performed today, we enrich our understanding of the history of our profession and build appreciation for the instruments employed daily. We may even be inspired to continue the tradition of evolving the craft.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Laura Lamprell, Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, The Townsville Hospital, 100 Angus Smith Drive, Douglas, Queensland 4814, Australia Fax: +61 7 4433 2810 E-mail:


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Who has been hiding in your tonsillectomy tray? Eponymous instruments in tonsillectomy surgery

  • L Lamprell (a1) and S Ahluwalia (a1) (a2)


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