In recent years a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the preoperative and the postoperative care of surgical patients1 with the hope of further reducing the mortality rate. With such a major surgical procedure as gastric resection, pulmonary complications (atelectasis, pulmonary edema and bronchopneumonia) play an important role. With the improvements in operative technic and anesthesia these conditions now account for a large percentage of the postoperative complications that still exist. With the advent of the use of sulfonamide compounds the mortality rate will probably be further reduced, but it has always been the hope that pulmonary complications could be prevented and that the added risk to the patient and the need for treatment could therefore be eliminated.
The removal of mucus by intratracheal aspiration,2 hyperventilation of the lungs3 and careful application of adhesive tape and abdominal binders4 to prevent restriction of the thoracic