The earliest abdominal operations for uterine growths were undoubtedly not deliberately premeditated but were errors in diagnosis. The abdomen had been opened for removal of an ovarian tumor. Between 1825 and 1851 fourteen such operations were reported, of which five had a fatal termination. Some surgeons then became bolder and ventured to extirpate subserous pediculated tumors. Granville had an unsuccessful, and Atlee and Lee successful cases. Burnham in 1853 was the first American surgeon to undertake a partial extirpation of the uterus, while Kimball first practiced hysterectomy for an interstitial fibroma the cause of violent hemorrhages, and his patient recovered.
Partial extirpation of the uterus, in which the cervix uteri was used as a pedicle, early developed two methods of treating the stump,—the intra- and the extra-peritoneal.
The ligation and return of the stump to the abdominal cavity would seem the natural and more desirable procedure, but the elastic character