That pulmonary hypoventilation exists after abdominal operation is a well accepted fact. The alteration in the type of respiration, the limitation of respiratory effort and the sense of thoracic oppression which many of these patients exhibit or complain of are evidence of this fact. Furthermore, a reduction in the vital capacity of patients after abdominal operations has been demonstrated by Churchill and McNeil,1 Head,2 Powers,3 and Muller, Overholt and Pendergrass.4 This hypoventilation occurs after lower, as well as after upper, abdominal operations, but is more marked after the latter. It may result from several factors. Last year Muller, Pendergrass and I4 reported some observations on the pulmonary status of patients before and after abdominal operations. During this study we observed that postoperatively there occurred an elevation of the diaphragm and a restriction of its activity. Recently Patey5 also observed a diminution in the movements
OVERHOLT RH. AIR IN THE PERITONEAL CAVITY: ITS EFFECT ON THE POSITION AND ACTIVITY OF THE DIAPHRAGM. Arch Surg. 1930;21(6):1282–1290. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1930.01150180398022
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