External hernia is one of the commonest causes of intestinal obstruction. In fact, it has been reported as the most frequent cause, although this is probably not true today. With few exceptions, reports in the past have described this condition as having a grave prognosis, especially among patients requiring resection of the bowel. Since it is both a frequent and a serious surgical emergency, further study of the problem seemed to be justified.
This report is a review of the recent experience at this clinic in the management of intestinal obstructions caused by external hernia.
Between Jan. 1, 1942, and Sept. 1. 1953, 130 obstructions due to external hernia were seen at the University of Minnesota Hospitals. In each patient the diagnosis of hernial obstruction was made by history, physical examination, and roentgenographic study. The diagnosis was verified at operation in 126 patients. All patients who died were