INCARCERATED or strangulated inguinal hernias are surgical emergencies and are usually an indication for immediate operation. Individual experiences and reports in the literature have emphasized the risk in delaying operation and the dangers incident to reduction. The pathologic changes in the hernia cannot be determined with complete certainty without exploration. However, for many years the practice at the Cook County Hospital has been to attempt to transform these situations from a surgical emergency to a later elective procedure. The routine procedure is the result of observations and experiences of Dr. Roger T. Vaughan. Accordingly, this survey of 500 cases of incarcerated or strangulated inguinal hernia was undertaken to determine the results of treatment as followed in this institution.
The advantage of an elective operation for a simple inguinal hernia is not to be disregarded if the method used for reduction of an incarcerated hernia is relatively safe. Almost all surgeons