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Incorporation of a coiled spring within the lumen of a long intestinal tube has made it possible and practical to readily decompress distended and acutely obstructed small intestine at operation. Oral passage of the tube eliminates the necessity for enterostomy or enterotomy. Leaving the tube in situ for a few days after operation in the presence of peritoneal denudation of the bowel wall is tantamount to performance of the Noble procedure of intestinal plication without use of sutures. Employment of this tube has reduced considerably the operative mortality for acute nongangrenous obstruction of the small bowel. The hospital mortality in acute simple obstruction was 1.3 percent; in the presence of gangrene, 25 percent. Only earlier recognition and operation can lessen the risk when the bowel viability is threatened.
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☆Supported by United States Public Health Service Grant AM02150 and the Donald J. Cowling Fund for Surgical Research.
© 1965 Published by Elsevier Inc.