Medicine: Abdominal Drainplug

Doctors who know how to treat the patient suffering from a virtually complete failure of kidney function find it far more difficult to treat kidney problems that are more numerous and less serious.

Complete breakdown calls for the familiar artificial kidney.* Partial failure calls for repeated "peritoneal irrigations" to wash out the body's natural metabolic poisons—and the process requires an abdominal incision for each irrigation.

For the less critical kidney patients, Harvard Physician John P. Merrill and his colleagues at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital have devised a bold and ingenious technique: a miniature plastic "manhole"' permanently implanted in the abdominal wall.


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