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Part 4

Another method of cure:-Taking a very slender thread of raw lint, and uniting it into five folds of the length of a span, and wrapping them round with a horse hair; then having made a director (specillum) of tin, with an eye at its extremity, and having passed through it the end of raw lint wrapped round as above described, introduce the director into the fistula, and, at the same time, introduce the index finger of the left hand per anum; and when the director touches the finger, bring it out with the finger, bending the extremity of the director and the end of the threads in it, and the director is to be withdrawn, but the ends of the threads are to be knotted twice or thrice, and the rest of the raw threads is to be twisted around and fastened into a knot. Then the patient is to be told that he may go and attend to his matters. The rest of the treatment:-Whenever any part of the thread gets loose owing to the fistula becoming putrid, it is to be tightened and twisted every day; and should the raw thread rot before the fistula is eaten through, you must attach another piece of raw thread to the hair, pass it through, and tie it, for it was for this purpose that the hair was rolled round the raw lint, as it is not [p. 347]liable to rot. When the fistula has sloughed through, a soft sponge is to be cut into very slender pieces and applied, and then the flowers of copper, roasted, are to be frequently applied with a director; and the sponge smeared with honey is to be introduced with the index finger of the left hand, and pushed forward; and another bit of added, it is to be bound on in the same manner as in the operation for hemorrhoids. Next day, having loosed the bandages, the fistula is to be washed with hot water, and cleansed, as far as possible, with the finger of the left hand by means of the sponge, and again the flos aeris is to be applied. This is to be done for seven days, for generally the coat of the fistula takes that time to fistula takes that time to slouch through. The same mode of bandaging is to be persevered in afterwards, until the cure be completed. For in this way, the fistula being forcibly expanded by the sponge will not fill up and heal unequally, but it will all become whole together. During the treatment, the part should be bathed with plenty of warm water, and the patient kept on a spare diet.

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