Generally speaking, surgery of no other portion of the human body requires such fineness of judgment and care in execution as does that of the biliary tract. Especially is this true in those cases (and they are seen frequently) in which there has been a previous cholecystectomy or cholecystotomy and then the clinical manifestations of obstruction of the common duct appear. It is these cases that tax the surgeon's skill, both because of the technical problem involved and because they are seldom even fair risks.
Any effective substitute procedure, even though it is applicable to an exceedingly small group of these cases, is most welcome. In order to dissolve a stone from the common duct it is plain that certain definite conditions must be present. The stone must be situated so that it may be bathed directly with the solvent used—so that either a tube drain must be placed in