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October 2, 1948

LIPOGRANULOMA OF THE PERITONEUM: Report of Three Cases Following the Intra-Abdominal Use of Liquid Petrolatum

Author Affiliations

Atlanta, Ga.

From the Whitehead Department of Surgery (Drs. Whitaker and Campelli) and the Department of Roentgenology (Dr. Walker), Emory University School of Medicine, and Grady Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1948;138(5):363-365. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.62900050007009

Many agents have been employed for the prevention of postoperative intra-abdominal adhesions. During the first two decades of this century, sterile oils were frequently introduced into the peritoneal cavity for this purpose. Their use in experimental animals led observers of this period to believe that such substances as wool fat, petrolatum and liquid petrolatum would inhibit the formation of adhesions.1 These investigators, however, failed to allow sufficient time before sacrificing their animals, and this led to a false impression that sterile oils not only were harmless but would aid in the prevention of postoperative adhesions. It was later demonstrated that petrolatum and liquid petrolatum (Russian mineral oil) were intensely irritating to the peritoneum, were slowly absorbed, if at all, and resulted in the formation of granulomas and adhesions.2 Norris and Davison, in 1934,3 reported 2 patients, demonstrating the complications that follow the use of sterile liquid petrolatum