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June 1960

Surgery for Radiation Injury

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Kan.
From the Department of Surgery, Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center.

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(6):946-952. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290230064008

The surgical problems of patients with irradiation injury are multiple. Even though the hazards and safeguards of radiation have been well publicized in medical, and medicolegal circles,1,2,3 and the control of radiation by standardization of equipment, by published knowledge of safe dosage, and by certification of adequate personnel has been attempted, the problems of postirradiation injury are ever present. The reasons for this are as follows: 1. Patients are still being treated by radiation for many of the same benign disease entities4 which have produced radiation injuries in the past. 2. The ultimate changes are not manifest until a great many years have past.5 3. The inexorable tissue damage from multiple small doses of superficial therapy is not sufficiently appreciated.6 4. The employment of stronger sources of radiation for the treatment of malignancy produces more tissue damage and, therefore, more complications. Although the statement of Daland

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