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INSTRUMENTAL PERFORATION OF THE RECTOSIGMOID

HERMAN E. PEARSE, M.D.
Arch Surg. 1941;42(5):850-857. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1941.01210110052004.
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It must be a very disturbing experience for a physician to find that he has perforated the bowel with a sigmoidoscope. Imagine the sensation of the physician who is reported by Lockhart-Mummery to have looked into his instrument and found himself gazing at the gallbladder! This operator's dismay would have been no less if the perforation had occurred with a bougie or a dilator, for whether the accident happens during diagnostic or therapeutic efforts the intention has been to help the patient, yet harm has resulted. For this reason the subject deserves careful study and analysis.

There are many other causes of penetration of the bowel by an object inserted through the anus, some of which have been known for centuries. The code of Hamurrabi states that impalement by "sitting on a stick" will be the punishment for lustful murder. Torture by this means was a common practice in some

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