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November 22, 1947


JAMA. 1947;135(12):751-753. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890120005003

The choice of an anesthetic agent or procedure for abdominal surgery is prefaced frequently by this question, "What do you use for operations on the gallbladder or what do you use for hysterectomy?" The same query might be applied to operations on the gastrointestinal tract or on almost any portion of the body. The answer cannot always be direct and simple. Certain surgeons, because of previous experience, have definite preferences regarding the choice of anesthesia for abdominal surgery. Likewise, anesthesiologists have their preferences, likes and dislikes. Either one of these may influence the other, and in some instances the patient offers a third opinion or request. This is particularly true in light of the popularity of "pentothal sodium"; many patients, because of hearsay or previous experience with anesthesia, request this agent.

I believe that the solution to this problem of the choice of type of anesthesia for abdominal surgery lies

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