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October 1953


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1953;67(4):514-520. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260040523004

A RECENT survey of over 500 certified surgeons in this country revealed that only about 26% are employing transverse or muscle-splitting abdominal incisions for the common types of abdominal operations.1 It appears therefore that the majority of surgeons and most of the other physicians performing surgery are using midline or paramedian incisions. It seems inconceivable that adherence to these standard incisions by so many still exists, in view of the many unfavorable reports concerning the significantly high incidence of wound dehiscence and herniation which follows these incisions. These complications have been reported to occur in 2 to 10% of abdominal operations in which the midline or paramedian vertical incisions were employed,2 whereas the reports of many surgeons using a muscle-splitting or transverse incision indicate that these two complications are rare, occuring in less than 1% of all cases.3

Whitaker and his associates2h reported nine cases, 0.9%,

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