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December 1954


AMA Arch Surg. 1954;69(6):909-910. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1954.01270060151020

With the refinement of modern surgical techniques and the advent of sulfonamide and antibiotic therapy, excision of an esophageal diverticulum no longer poses the complicated problems of 10 or more years ago. The esophageal transilluminator is presented as a further refinement and time-saver for a procedure already well established.

The idea of internal illumination of an esophageal diverticulum is not entirely new. Terry1 sugegsted the use of a flexible Canevon light. Wilson, Wallace, Whiting, and Poole,2 in 1953, described a lighted probe that would be passed into the diverticulum. As many an endoscopist knows, not infrequently he is called to the operating room to hold an esophageal speculum or esophagoscope in a diverticulum while the surgeon hunts for illusive cleavage planes.

Thus it appears that there is a very definite place for an instrument which would allow transillumination of a diverticulum at the operating table. With the safety