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February 1973

Embryology for Surgeons.

Arch Surg. 1973;106(2):246. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350140102039

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For surgeons called upon to treat patients with congenital abnormalities, a thorough understanding of embryology is essential. However, despite its importance embryology is often not adequately emphasized, either in surgical training programs or in the surgical literature. Pediatric surgeons and general surgeons are frequently reminded of their need for knowledge of embryology during their daily clinical activities. For example, to prevent recurrence when excising a thyroglossal duct cyst, a surgeon must realize the need to remove the central portion of the hyoid bone, the embryonic course of the duct. He must be able to anticipate what genital abnormalities can be expected in a girl with imperforate anus; he must be aware of the anatomy of persistent embryonic intestinal or urinary tract structures which can be responsible for the purulent drainage he may see at the umbilicus of an infant. He must be able to conduct an adequate search for a

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