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May 13, 1905


Author Affiliations

Surgeon-in-Chief, German Hospital. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1905;XLIV(19):1523-1528. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500460028002e

Satisfactorily to elucidate within the limits of an address the subject of the diagnosis and treatment of abdominal pain is a task like that of cleaning the stables of Augeas and would require a second Hercules for its performance. Pain is probably the most constant of all symptoms, no matter what the disease nor where the pathologic lesions are situated, and the abdomen is surgically the most extensive and the most important part of the human body. From the sudden stab of momentary indigestion to the chronic agony of cancerous ulceration, from the burning ache of gastric or intestinal perforations to the prostrating pain of ruptured extrauterine pregnancy, through the whole fell gamut of abdominal disease the surgeon's mind must run, as he seeks here and there a note of hope from the discord of pain, in the effort to snatch his suffering patient from the grave. If at times the opportune moment is lost, if the correct diagnosis is missed, what inexpressible