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Article
January 1931

THE SWALLOWED SILK THREAD AS A GUIDE IN ESOPHAGEAL INSTRUMENTATION

Author Affiliations

ROCHESTER, MINN.
From the Division of Medicine, the Mayo Clinic.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1931;13(1):94-96. doi:10.1001/archotol.1931.03660010104012
Abstract

Dunham,1 in 1902, first suggested the use of a swallowed silk thread as a guide in dilating strictures of the esophagus. The thread, used in conjunction with gastrostomy, was withdrawn from the opening in the stomach. Later, Mixter2 found that gastrostomy was unnecessary, and if the thread was swallowed slowly, it would pass through the stricture into the stomach and the intestine and could be pulled sufficiently taut to permit its being used as a guide in passing dilating sounds. Plummer,3 in 1910, called attention to the value of the thread in cases of lesions in the esophagus and reported its use in 300 cases. Since then much has been written concerning this simple and useful procedure, but many misconceptions still exist with regard to the way in which it is used.

In many cases, patients suffering from various types of esophageal stricture come under my observation

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