Most surgeons must feel daily that they are called on to employ their art as operating technicians at the wrong and late period of the disease. In this sense much of their work is unnecessary surgery. Earlier recognition of the disease, in some cases followed by appropriate treatment, may make surgical intervention unnecessary; such measures belong to preventive surgery.
Most physicians must regret their relation to the late intervention of surgery. In the literature and in conversation one so often reads and hears that surgery should be the last resort, modified sometimes by the statement: but not a late resort. This expression "a last, but not a late resort," sounds well, and I am quite certain that those who employ it mean well and are just as anxious to have surgery an early intervention, although as a "last resort." I fear, however, that the promulgation of the expression that surgery
BLOODGOOD JC. MEDICAL ASPECTS OF SURGICAL DISEASES, OR PREVENTIVE SURGERY. JAMA. 1912;LVIII(12):829–833. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260030227001
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