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Article
September 1932

SURGICAL TREATMENT OF MITRAL STENOSIS: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY

Author Affiliations

Associate Surgeon, The Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital COOPERSTOWN, N. Y.
From the Laboratory for Surgical Research, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1932;25(3):555-570. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1932.01160210124009
Abstract

The technical difficulties and hazards of an operative procedure on the heart are great. Medical therapy in chronic cardiac valvular disease offers nothing but supportive and palliative treatment without hope of permanent relief. Consequently the surgical treatment of mitral stenosis presents a most fascinating and interesting problem to both surgeon and physician.

The rationale for the procedure has been based on the assumption that mitral insufficiency is functionally a less damaging lesion than mitral stenosis. With this hypothesis as a major premise, the first operation of election on the mitral valve was performed by Dr. Elliott C. Cutler1 in May, 1923. A tenotome was inserted into the mitral orifice through the left ventricle, and an attempt was made to incise each segment of the obstructing ring. The patient recovered and was definitely improved until the onset of a terminal illness four and one-half years later.

After this first intrepid

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