THE results of present day management of war wounds of the abdomen are superior to those obtained in previous wars. This is due to many factors, both military and medical. One such factor is the application of sound surgical principles. The procedures suggested in directives are based on such principles, and to carry out these procedures, correct preoperative diagnosis is essential. For wounds of the abdomen, diagnosis may be simple, but in my experience problems are frequently encountered.
In preoperative diagnosis of abdominal wounds, not only the intraperitoneal structures but also the structures adjacent to them, particularly the genitourinary organs, must be considered. Similarly, in preoperative diagnosis of intra-abdominal injury, wounds of the chest, the back, the perineum and the thighs must also be evaluated. For this reason, an orderly method of diagnosis is always carried out. This routine depends on the painstaking employment of time-honored methods of physical diagnosis,