We have, on occasion, desired to drain the entire peritoneal cavity. There would result a copious drainage for the first 2 to 24 hours, which then would cease. On occasion, when further examination was possible, either at autopsy or exploratory laparotomy, peritoneal fluid was found still present and the drains were tightly encased in a fibrin sheath.
Peter Salisbury demonstrated in 1957 that silicone would not excite a fibrin reaction in the peritoneal cavity. It was felt, therefore, that silicone might be the ideal material for draining the entire peritoneal cavity. An experiment was devised to compare the effectiveness of Penrose latex drains with silicone tubular drains in draining the peritoneal cavity in the presence of peritonitis.
Twenty-eight operations were performed on dogs weighing from 10 to 60 lb. to evaluate the efficiency of silicone rubber as an abdominal drain.
Median laparotomy, hysterectomy, and/or partial omentectomy were performed. Fifteen