Since Schlatter performed the first successful total gastrectomy in 1897, many reports on this subject have appeared, especially in the last two decades. Prior to the report of Finney and Rienhoff in 1929, the literature consisted largely of occasional reports of one or two successful cases. These authors collected 67 cases in which total gastrectomy had been performed with a mortality rate of 53.8%. Since 1929, a number of series of total gastrectomies have been reported.
Pack and McNeer, in 1943, completed an excellent collective review of the literature on total gastrectomy for cancer, and they included an original report of 20 cases of their own. The collective operative mortality rate was 37.6%. Lahey and Marshall,5 in 1944, reported on 73 cases in which total gastrectomy had been performed with a mortality of 33%. Waugh and Fahlund, in 1945, reported 77 cases of total gastrectomy performed at the Mayo