February 1963

The Surgical Risk in Cirrhosis of the Liver

Author Affiliations

Chief of Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital, West Haven, Connecticut, and Associate Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine (Dr. Lindenmuth); Senior Assistant Resident in Surgery, Yale-New Haven Medical Center (Dr. Eisenberg).

Arch Surg. 1963;86(2):235-242. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310080059014

Cirrhosis of the liver has become an increasingly important disease in recent years and in 1958 was eighth among the leading causes of death in the United States.1 It has been estimated that one-third to one-half of the 350,000 cirrhotic patients currently alive will ultimately die of some complication of their disease.2 Despite their frequently advanced age, poor general condition, and because of concurrent though unrelated disease, the constituents of this large group are commonly candidates for elective as well as emergency surgery. The surgeon faced with the responsibility and problem of operating upon a patient with known or suspected cirrhosis has been handicapped by the relative paucity of available information on the general response of the cirrhotic to procedures not directly related to his hepatic condition.

The purpose of this study has been to reexamine some of the currently accepted concepts of the response to surgery in

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