Medical Treatment of Gall Stones.

Related entries: Gallstones: ElTh-links

I have read with much interest the reprint of Dr. Charles S. Webb's article on page 176 in the June number, on the successful treatment of gallstones without resort to surgery. I do not doubt the success of this method of treatment in the least, yet most patients would object to so large a quantity of sweet oil, taken in this manner. (I was given more than my share of sweet oil for green apple colic when I was a kid.)

My own method of treatment is a successful one. It differs from the above in some particulars. I have the patient drink all the warm water he can possibly hold. Then I give him one-tenth of a grain of apomorphine hypodermically. In a few minutes general relaxation of the system takes place and vomiting occurs. The water in the stomach prevents the vomiting from being severe. By the action of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles the gallstones are forced out of the duct into the duodenum. The process has never yet failed me. It relieves the pain by assisting in the escape of the stones. In one case I succeeded in getting eighteen gallstones and the patient has remained cured, when a prominent surgeon had said that nothing but a surgical operation would save his life.

As after-treatment I put the patient on sodium succinate tablets five grains each, giving one tablet four or five times a day. In extreme cases I give two tablets every three hours. I keep the patient upon this treatment for about three weeks, then I give three a day for three weeks, then one or two a day for three weeks, keeping the bowels and kidneys free all the time. None of my cases so treated have had a return of an attack. I believe in the principle of this journal of yours, that each should give to all, the things he has tried and proven.


COMMENT:—In considering Dr. Webb's method in conjunction with Dr. Kinnett's suggestion of sweet oil in this issue, and both in connection with these suggestions, I believe there are extreme cases in which a combination of all of these suggestions, or at least of one of the others with these of Dr. Emerick, would be needed.

Ellingwood's Therapeutist, Vol. 2, 1908, was edited by Finley Ellingwood M.D.