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January 18, 1908

A PLEA FOR EARLY EXPLORATORY LAPAROTOMY IN GASTRIC DISEASES OF DOUBTFUL NATURE.

Author Affiliations

Professor of Surgery, Medico-Chirurgical College: Professor of Surgery, Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1908;L(3):165-169. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25310290001001
Abstract

At the present time there is no organ in the body whose diseases are more common, and concerning which wider interest is being manifested, than the stomach. The appalling complications of hemorrhage, perforation, hour-glass contraction, disabling adhesions and malignant disease are altogether too frequent and can, I believe, only be prevented by earlier diagnosis of the conditions making them possible, and this can not be done in the present state of our knowledge save by timely exploratory laparotomy. Other means at our command are wholly inadequate, and to depend on them further is needlessly to sacrifice many, I may say thousands, who might easily be saved.

The danger of such an exploration, if done in time, is inconsequential and out of all proportion to the benefits derived therefrom. To those who think differently and overestimate its risk my answer is that he who would keep his life must hazard it.

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