The convalescence of a person at the present time on whom an intra-abdominal operation has been performed is usually so peaceful a period that it is often hard to realize the grave dangers which surround the patient and which are liable suddenly to obtrude themselves and change the scene into a stormy and anxious one. Hence, the post-operative responsibility of the physician is great, for the safety of the patient depends on his ability to quickly recognize and successfully treat these complicating conditions as they arise. Of these complications the most frequent and probably the one least often recognized in its initial stage, when it is readily controlled and a fatal outcome avoided, is that form of intestinal obstruction due to failure of the muscular fibers of the intestines to contract, giving rise to an accumulation of the bowel contents in the paralvzed portions of the gut.
WIGGIN FH. POST-OPERATIVE INTESTINAL PARESIS. JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(11):627–630. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480370035001k
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