Indianapolis Monthly Magazine - Indianapolis Restaurants, Shopping, Concerts, Events and more. EXTRA: Historical Medical Tools at IMHM - Tonsil Guillotine, 1830–1870: Primitive as it seems today, this device represented a great leap forward in the dreaded removal of tonsils. “Before, with just a knife, a physician had his fist halfway down the patient’s throat,” Nottage says. The loop at the business end of this instrument ensnared the infected tonsil, and a concealed blade lopped it off. These instruments litter the Indiana Medical History Museum—evidence that then, as now, tonsillectomy was one of the most common surgeries.