Subtotal or total colectomy for certain colic lesions was described by one of us in 1943.1 This procedure has been applied with increasing frequency to lesions of the left half of the colon in succeeding years. On the surgical service of one of us (O. H. W.) since 1946, subtotal or total colectomy has come to be the surgical procedure of election in cases of cancers of the left colon as well as for multiple polyps of the colon. Moreover, in many instances of diverticulitis, a total or subtotal colectomy has been done in which multiple diverticula extended into the upper reaches of the descending colon or well into the transverse colon. Undetected polyps have been uncovered by these wider excisions, and, in one instance of diverticulitis, an occult cancer was found in the cecum when the operatively removed specimen was opened. In fact, total or subtotal colectomy has
Lillehei RC, Wangensteen OH. BOWEL FUNCTION AFTER COLECTOMY FOR CANCER, POLYPS, AND DIVERTICULITIS. JAMA. 1955;159(3):163–170. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960200009003
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