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RESECTION OF THE FIRST PORTION OF THE LARGE INTESTINE AND THE RESULTING EFFECT ON ITS FUNCTION

WILLIAM J. MAYO, M.D.
JAMA. 1914;LXIII(6):446-449. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570060006003.
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Human beings vary in their internal anatomy in about the same degree that they vary in their external form and configuration. Were a man who was thin and 6 feet high to ask us to make him fat and 5 feet 6 inches high by operating on him, we would think him mentally deranged. Yet how frequently in the past have we attempted to correct surgically the internal anatomy because of variations from the average normal, especially the position of the abdominal viscera.

It is less than ten years since nephrorrhaphy, ventrofixation, gastrorrhaphy and kindred operations were resorted to on indications which would not be accepted to-day. We have come to appreciate the fact that comparatively few of the abdominal viscera have unchangeable anatomic characteristics and that variations within limits are not to be considered abnormal.

The large intestine, with its short heredity and changing function, has no such fixed

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