Article Text


Superior mesenteric embolectomy
  1. G. L. Bohn,
  2. K. J. Carroll


    This paper reports a successful superior mesenteric embolectomy. The possibility of successful surgical treatment makes its recognition particularly important. In any patient with a known history of cardiovascular disease who presents a sudden severe abdominal pain of obscure origin this diagnosis must be entertained. The pain at first is colicky because of the severe peristalsis which is induced but when ischaemia is marked it then becomes constant. With the crises of pain in the early stages the blood pressure falls and then recovers with the cessation of pain and this intermittent shock was a feature in the patient reported. A plain radiograph of the abdomen in the early stages is characterized by the absence or minimal presence of air in both the small and large bowel giving the film a very clear appearance. Prompt exploration is needed.

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