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December 1948


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgery, Mayo Clinic.

Arch Surg. 1948;57(6):763-773. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1948.01240020773001

IN THE preface to his exhaustive work on the "Surgery of Pancreatic Tumors," Brunschwig1 stated that from the surgeon's standpoint the pancreas has been regarded as the "hermit organ" because of the rarity with which operations have been performed on it and because surgeons have been reluctant to undertake such procedures, often fearing the development of acute pancreatitis as a complication of the operation itself. This dismal situation has changed rapidly, however, in the last fifteen years, owing to the abundant information that has accumulated relating to diagnosis, preoperative and postoperative care and surgical technic. Not the least factor has been a willingness on the part of many surgeons to challenge and to conquer this natural aversion to direct surgical attack on the pancreas and, by so doing, to demonstrate that partial, and even total, pancreatectomy can be done without imposing undue risk.

That a relative increase should be