The high mortality rate encountered in cases of occlusion of a large branch of the superior mesenteric vessels whether by embolism or thrombosis has made surgical treatment appear futile. Bassler1 quotes Cabot as saying, "Surgery has little or no business here." Thrombosis treated surgically, is believed to be more fatal than embolism, because of its progressive nature tending to involve the entire superior mesenteric artery or veins and produce certain death. Most of the cases that have ended in recovery have been cases in which operation has been done early, but under the most favorable conditions a mortality rate approximating 90 per cent is the best that has been reported.
The patient here described was operated on four days after the onset of symptoms. A late diagnosis in an abdominal disaster is never a source of pride. A large number of cases of mesenteric vascular occlusion will be diagnosed
GREEN JR, ALLEN CH. MESENTERIC VASCULAR OCCLUSION WITH RECOVERY. JAMA. 1934;103(1):11–13. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750270013005
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