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October 21, 1933


Author Affiliations

From the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1933;101(17):1300-1302. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740420020005

Enterostomy as a therapeutic measure in intestinal obstructive lesions and in the distention of peritonitis has been quite generally accepted by the majority of surgeons. There has not, however, been a universal agreement concerning its indications or complete accord in the interpretation of its results. The general impression is gained that the operation is frequently done as a last resort when little or no result may be logically expected. It must also be recognized that many patients, apparently treated successfully by enterostomy, might recover without drainage of the bowel if properly treated by modern supportive methods.

The logical use of enterostomy as a drainage operation involves some understanding of the pathologic changes and perverted function present in diseases associated with distention of the bowel. It has been quite conclusively shown that a bowel which retains its normal muscle tone and peristaltic activity does not absorb substances it should not absorb.