To the Editor: In London in the late 1960s, one of my chiefs regularly used a diathermy clamp (Med J Aust 2012; 197: 193) for the management of third and fourth degree piles. The patient was anaesthetised, placed in the lithotomy position, and draped. Meanwhile, the clamp was brought to red heat on a Bunsen burner in a side room and fetched into theatre by me, the assistant. The chief drew each pile down in turn, applying the clamp across the base of the pile with the shield upwards, to protect that very sensitive area. It was so held for a minute, with much sizzling and the smell of cooking flesh.
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