Selected writings of A. Jackson Howe.
Feeling that no term used in connection with opening the abdomen correctly expressed the procedure. Dr. Howe coined the term abdominotomy. Though more expressive, it has not superseded the older and better-known term, laparotomy.—Ed. Gleaner.
ABDOMINOTOMY.—At the risk of being blamed or censured for the invention or introduction of a new term, I offer abdominotomy as the proper one to signify cutting into the abdominal cavity. Laparotomy signifies cutting into the side or flank, hence is not a significant term. Gastrotomy would do, were it not for the fact that it really means cutting into the stomach. The opener of bellies becomes an abdominotomist, and although the word be long, it is rather easily spoken. As soon as we are used to it we shall like it. Not one medical man in a hundred knows what laparotomy really means, and that one don't like the term on account of its want of direct significance.—HOWE, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1890.
The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.