Many cases will present themselves in which a diagnosis is not possible. It will not be possible to determine anything beyond a certainty that the disease ease is within the abdominal or pelvic cavity. A tumor may be present; no certainty of its relations may be ascertainable through the closed abdominal wall. What is to be done? Will we satisfy our consciences sciences that our duty is done and turn away, or temporize with drugs? It is to be hoped not. In every man or woman dying or in danger of dying from an obscure intra-abdominal trouble an exploratory incision should be made and the diagnosis should, if possible, through it, by touch, or touch and vision, be perfected. Is such a procedure to be lightly undertaken? By no means. But with the following precautions it is safe:
1. Have the patient clean from head to foot, and the surface
SUTTON RS. EXPLORATORY INCISION AS A DERNIER RESSORT FOR DIAGNOSTIC PURPOSES.. JAMA. 1887;VIII(2):37. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391270009001c
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