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October 1, 1932


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, University of California.

JAMA. 1932;99(14):1129-1132. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740660007002

Permanent colostomy is essential to success in the operative treatment of cancer of the rectum and rectosigmoid, no matter what type of operation is decided on for the individual case. It is also necessary in other conditions, notably obstruction from diverticulitis of the sigmoid and stricture of the rectum.

Unfortunately, the laity and a large part of the medical profession have an exaggerated fear of colostomy. I have heard doctors in medical meetings say that they would rather die than have a colostomy. When such a statement has been made I have always felt that the person who made it knew very little about a properly constructed colostomy and much less about its proper care. As a matter of fact, a properly constructed, well placed and properly cared for colostomy causes the patient comparatively little inconvenience, and this statement is based on the opinions of a large number of patients