Cutler's Valvuotome

Description (Brief):

The first successful operation for the relief of Mitral stenosis, a condition which causes the Mitral valve to stiffen and not fully open thereby restricting the flow of blood was performed on May 20, 1923 by Doctors Elliott Cutler (1888-1947) and Samuel Levine (1891-1966) on a young girl using a long narrow tenotomy knife.

Description (Brief)

Because of the tough nature of the calcification which leaves the valve stiff and unable to open and close properly Cutler saw the need for a stronger instrument.

Description (Brief)

The Cardiovalvulotome or valvulotome was developed for just this operation. To punch into the tissue and secure pieces of calcification from the Mitral valve before floating away into the blood system and causing an embolism. The initial experiments were done on dogs. .

Description (Brief)

Cutler and Dr. Claude Beck (1894-1971) continued to experiment on dogs. Cutler and Beck operated on patients, but there were no more successes. Subsequent operations with the valvulotome were not successful

Description (Brief)

The Valvulotome is marked “Codman and Shurtleff, Boston, Stainless”.

Date Made: ca 1924

Maker: Codman & Shurtleff, Inc.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, Boston

Subject: Medical Procedure- Surgery, Cardiology, Surgical instruments, Surgery

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Claude Beck, M.D.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MG.M-10710Accession Number: 256190Catalog Number: M-10710

Object Name: valvulotomesurgical instrument

Physical Description: stainless steel (overall material)Measurements: overall: 21 cm x 4 cm; 8 9/32 in x 1 9/16 in


Record Id: nmah_1439371

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