The problem of peritonitis has long been puzzling and vexatious for the abdominal surgeon and the clinician as well. Some peritonitis probably occurs postoperatively in every case in which an abdominal operation is performed. Usually the degree of this peritonitis is slight, and the origin is chemical or traumatic. In intestinal operations, particularly on the large bowel, there is in most instances some bacterial peritonitis. Fortunately, if certain accepted principles are followed, in most cases the postoperative peritonitis is mild and nonfatal. However, when one is operating on malignant lesions of the large bowel, perforation of the growth and formation of abscess are often encountered. Occasionally, too, the anatomic situation of the malignant lesion places insuperable difficulties in the path of the surgeon.
It has been our hope that we might increase the resistance of each patient against fatal peritonitis and thereby reduce the number of postoperative deaths. We realized