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The Evolution of Early Appendectomy as Standard Treatment from Appendicitis: What We Can Learn from the Past in Adopting New Medical Therapies

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Dr. Reginald Fitz popularized early appendectomy for the treatment of appendicitis with his treatise, “Perforating Inflammation of the Vermiform Appendix,” published in 1886 while he worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital along with Dr. Maurice Howe Richardson, the inventor of the Richardson retractor. Their collaboration over the ensuing years led to improvement in outcomes for patients with appendicitis. This historical article describes the importance of this collaboration with information from operative reports, letters, and manuscripts and echoes the discussion today of safely adopting new medical technologies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of General Surgery, Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2015

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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