The true criterion for judging the merit of various types of operations for benign lesions, aside from consideration of immediate operative risk, resides in an accurate appreciation of the ultimate benefit to the patient. Unfortunately a true evaluation of end-results over a long period of time is always difficult; questionnaires are frequently unsatisfactory and personal interviews often impossible. The data presented here were culled from replies to a questionnaire sent to all patients operated on at the Mayo Clinic for benign disease of the biliary tract in the years from 1907 to 1910, inclusive. Many of the letters were discarded because they were vague or indefinite, and the information could not be accurately classified. An effort was made to arrange the available material in a manner suitable for judging ultimate prognosis and evaluating current operative procedures.
From 1,652 questionnaires, 606 satisfactory replies were received, either from the home physician or,
JUDD ES, PRIESTLEY JT. ULTIMATE RESULTS FROM OPERATIONS ON THE BILIARY TRACT. JAMA. 1932;99(11):887–891. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740630013004