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June 16, 1951


Author Affiliations

Portland, Ore.

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Thoracic Surgery, University of Oregon Medical School, Hospitals and Clinics, and the Surgical Service of the Matson Memorial Hospital for Diseases of the Chest.

JAMA. 1951;146(7):633-641. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670070025008

Pulmonary resections have been performed successfully for many years, but until 1933 the techniques remained crude and the operations extremely hazardous according to present standards. Staged operations, use of tourniquets and clamps and destruction of lung tissue with cautery all resulted in prolonged morbidity and a mortality horrifying to the surgeon of today.

In 1933 Rienhoff1 first described the technique of individual isolation and closure of the bronchus and blood vessels at the hilus. This technique, now used in practically all pulmonary resections, has done more than anything else to reduce the operative complications and mortality of these procedures. In 1932 Graham and his colleagues2 collected a series of 212 lobectomies in which the operative mortality was 34 per cent. By 1947 Kay and associates3 were able to report 258 consecutive cases of lobectomy for bronchiectasis with only one death, and Jones4 presented a series of

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