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December 1959

Calculous Disease of the Biliary Tract

Author Affiliations

New York
From The New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;79(6):939-949. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320120081009

Introduction  Calculous disease of the biliary tree is a common affliction. Over 10% of our adult population harbors cholelithiasis. The successful treatment of this ailment depends upon the utilization of available diagnostic aids, proper understanding of the course of the disease, and judicious application of surgical therapy.

Diagnosis by Intravenous Cholangiography  Intravenous cholangiography allows radiographic visualization of the biliary tree without the concentrating action of the gallbladder, and where oral cholecystography fails. It helps evaluate the common duct prior to cholecystectomy; this tends to lessen the incidence of retained or overlooked common duct stones. It is of utmost value in appraising symptoms following cholecystectomy such as may be caused by a re-formed gallbladder, cystic duct stump, or overlooked and new-formed common duct stones. It may also be of aid in evaluating the acute abdomen when acute cholecystitis is suspected.

Surgery  Surgery cures cholelithiasis when performed during the early stages of

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