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J. Marion Sims and gynecological terror of black women.

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  • J. Marion Sims and gynecological terror of black women.

    J. Marion Sims, considered the "father of American gynecology," moved to Alabama from Philadelphia after his first two patients died. There, Sims developed a technique to repair a condition in women called vesicovaginal fistula, which was usually the result of traumatic labor. This new technique to repair the condition became the standard procedure. He also devised instruments, including the Sims' speculum, to perform the surgery. In 1852, his technique using silver sutures led to the successful repair of fistulas, but he operated on his slave subjects, Anarcha, Betsy, and Lucy, approximately 40 times without the use of anesthesia, despite the fact that it was widely available.

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