About This Item
The Mütter Museum is one of the very few historical anatomical museums that still occasionally accepts donations of body parts if they are appropriate for the collection. In recent years, staff and their family members have provided several specimens.
In order to obtain one specimen, a staff member had to first persuade the surgeon to let her keep her husband’s gallbladder after surgery for gallstones. Gallstones (hardened, pebble-like deposits of digestive fluid) are common, affecting about 12% of the U.S. population, but require surgical removal only if they cause pain or fever.
The staff member left instructions for the pathology department not to “slice and dice” the organ too much during their analysis. They thought her request was quite unusual, but they honored it. She picked up the gallbladder the next day and brought it back to the Museum.
Information on donating human biological specimens to the Mütter Museum can be found at this FAQ.