Gallstones are supposed to have been removed from the gallbladder of a living patient by Fabricius1 in 1618, but Petit,2 who published his discussions on biliary obstruction and its surgical treatment a century later, is often considered to be the founder of surgery of the gallbladder. Great improvements were made in the technic by Bobbs,3 who sponsored cholecystotomy, and also by Langenbuch,4 who in 1882 performed the first cholecystectomy on a human being. However, little mention was made of the hemorrhagic tendency of jaundiced patients until Smith5 called attention to it in 1891. Since that time an enormous amount of information has accumulated and as a result present methods of treatment have a more rational basis. Nevertheless, the problems associated with jaundice have not all been settled, as is shown by the numerous theories concerning the factors involved.
The early investigators believed that the excess