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December 6, 1947


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1947;135(14):918-919. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.62890140002009a

Many reports have appeared describing the removal of large amounts of bowel in the treatment of various intestinal disorders. Moynihan1 described 54 cases of massive resection for diverse reasons including lengths of bowel ranging from 192 cm. to 540 cm. The last figure represents the most extensive resection ever carried out on a human being who recovered up to 1926. The length of the small intestine is extremely variable according to Treves, ranging from 15 to 33 feet (457 to 1,006 cm.). The average length is 22 feet 5 inches, or 683 cm. Moynihan stated that the length of the intestine varies directly with the measurement of the body and for every 100 cm. of body height there are 387.5 cm. of small intestine.

Wangensteen3 reported 360 cases of intestinal obstruction due to vascular disturbances; 60 per cent were due to arterial occlusion, and 40 per cent were

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