Destruction of the cord by a corrosive agent, combined with compression in a wooden clamp, is among the older methods, probably next akin to that practised among savages of including the whole scrotum in a ligature, and turning the wretched beast adrift until the testicles dropped off. In castrating by clamps one of two methods is adopted - the covered or the uncovered operation. In the covered operation the testicle is not completely exposed. The skin and dartos muscle are cut through, leaving the internal envelope immediately enclosing the organ intact. The clamp is then placed upon the spermatic cord and its investing tunic, with the ends directed backward and forward. They are then brought forcibly together by the castrating forceps (fig. 521), and securely tied by means of strong cord.
Fig. 521. - Clamps and Forceps for holding the same.
In the uncovered operation all the structures enveloping the testicle are cut through, and the gland is fully exposed. The clamps are then adjusted over the spermatic cord only (Plate LVI, fig. 1), in the same manner as in the covered operation, but a little more above the testis. When securely clamped the testicles may be removed or left to slough away.
The clamps employed in the operation of castration are sometimes grooved (fig. 521) along the centre for the accommodation of a charge of caustic paste, which, acting on the tissues of the cord, brings about their more immediate destruction.