Since the introduction of the Miller-Abbott1 principle of intubation of the small bowel for the management of ileus by Abbott and Johnston,2 the morbidity and mortality in our series of cases of this disease has been reduced to an all time low figure.3 Although often eliminating some surgical procedures, the technic should not be considered as a nonoperative method of treatment but rather as an adjunct to proper surgical care.
We continue to advise immediate operation in cases of strangulated hernia or other obvious early mechanical obstructions with mild distention and, of course, all cases suspected of gangrene of the bowel. Continuous gastric or duodenal suction and other simpler therapeutic measures are still used in many cases of mild involvement in which there is moderate distention, particularly in the early postoperative period. In the cases reported here either mechanical obstructions were demonstrated at operation or distended loops
LEIGH OC, DIEFENDORF RO. THE MILLER-ABBOTT TUBE IN SURGERY. JAMA. 1942;118(3):210–214. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830030028006