Medicine: Postoperative Gas

After an abdominal operation gas generally forms in the intestines, balloons the abdomen, causes the patient excruciating agony for many hours. How to prevent such postoperative gas pains was the subject of two articles by surgeons in last week's American Journal of Surgery.

Dr. Louis Emmet Mahoney of Los Angeles prevents gas pains by giving patients all the food which they can comfortably eat right after their operations. His theory: "The human intestinal tract is a muscular tube, the mucous membrane of which secretes digestive ferments and the motility of which is largely dependent...

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