The conclusions reached in this paper are based on personal experience and a study of 750 consecutive operations on the bile tract. In the past twenty-five years there have been notable advances in the diagnostic approach to, and the technical handling of, operations on the bile tract. On the other hand, postoperative care has been most tardy in its development. In fact, methods of handling patients after operations on the gallbladder and common duct have shown practically no changes. Little progress has been made, and most of the methods used even at this time are highly empirical and differ according to each surgeon's experience.
When a gallbladder has been removed or the common duct opened, the immediate consideration is the care of the patient during the first forty-eight hours. Sedation with opiates hypodermically or with chloral and bromides by rectum is necessary, but these methods of employing drugs must be