There are few things more disturbing than the postoperative rupture of an abdominal incision. This unusual disaster does not occur for a number of days, perhaps a week or more, following an operation; often when everything appears to be progressing favorably and the safety of the patient seems assured. The subject is frequently mentioned in surgical writings, but I am not aware that a satisfactory explanation has been given. The usual ways of accounting for the phenomenon are:
1. Giving Way of the Sutures.
—This may occur by breaking, cutting through, or too early absorption. This seems likely at first thought; but when one remembers the thousands of instances in which all sorts of sutures are used in all sorts of ways without trouble, the explanation seems inadequate.
2. Unusual Strains.
—These may be caused by vomiting, coughing or distention. Such strains, however, are always occurring, and yet rupture of