This week I attended a workshop at King’s College in London. It was the most fascinating day i’d had in a while as we were in the dissecting rooms! The university opens its doors for one day a year to colonic hydrotherapists so we get a little glimpse of what it’s like to work in this environment. In the UK about 350 bodies are donated to science every year and these are split between all UK hospitals and King’s College gets about 70 of them.
Donated bodies are preserved with formaldehyde and each medical student is allocated a body to dissect over the coming academic year. Each body is stored in a stainless steel box resembling a coffin on legs and over the year students find time to dissect the body bit by bit. It’s not a quick job either as it takes many man hours to cut away tissue to reveal the inner workings of the human body, hey someone’s got to do it!
We’re put together rather like a puzzle with each of us having different size puzzle pieces and it’s all connected with this rather elaborate connective tissue. The difference in stomach size was a shocker as some looked like a petite pouch while others resembled those old fashioned hide water bottles that you see in old cowboy movies, they’d obviously seen some rather good meals!
As colonic hydrotherapists we were most intrigued with the colon. Colon circumference can range from a few cm to a megacolon which you could easily fit a large fist into. Afterwards we wandered around The Gordon Museum which holds specimens of all body parts dating back to the 16th century. Colons were in abundance there.
Pictures in books are fine but you can’t beat seeing the real thing. Not to everyone’s taste though!