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August 1, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(5):374-377. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410050014002c

Perhaps the most important advances in abdominal surgery of recent years have been those made toward the elimination of digestive disorders, that is, the recognition that by surgery we are able to attack successfully not only the acute and obvious lesions, such as acute appendicitis or intestinal obstruction, but also those dependent on more obscure lesions of the stomach, biliary system and pancreas.

As the importance of the pancreas in the process of digestion was recognized by pathologists long after painstaking investigations had served to bring us to an understanding of gastric and intestinal physiology, so also the surgery of pancreatic conditions has been considerably behind that of the other abdominal viscera.

This is due to a number of reasons. The pancreas is deeply situated and almost inaccessible for direct surgical interference. Its functions being but little understood, their derangements naturally were not recognized, and those finer tests in physiology

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