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Article
August 1940

BORDERLINE PROBLEMS IN THE DIGESTIVE FIELD

Arch Surg. 1940;41(2):226-235. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210020022004

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Abstract

Notwithstanding the increasing penetration of surgery into many other fields, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, neural and endocrine, I feel sure that the digestive tract presents by far the most borderline problems, in which one must decide in each individual case whether surgical or nonsurgical treatment is the more likely to bring about cure or improvement. To operate or not to operate for peptic ulcer, gastric or duodenal, disease of the gallbladder, chronic appendicitis, cancer of the esophagus, stomach or small and large intestine or nonspecific ulcerative colitis—that is the question; and, if operation is decided on, when to operate, what operation to perform and who is to operate. On the proper answers to these questions depend in large measure the end results in each case.

While the main purpose of this short paper is to discuss treatment, it is axiomatic that for the optimum results correct diagnosis or, at least, a

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