The “Holy Plane” of Rectal Surgery

The ‘Holy Plane’ of Rectal Surgery,” R.J. Heald, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, vol. 81, September 1988, pp. 503–8. The author, at Basingstoke District Hospital, Basingstoke, U.K., explains [AIR 16:1]:

this is the story of a simple artisan’s pleasure in the actual style of performing an operation—in essence the way to use a pair of scissors to define and develop a plane in a precise manner…. A surgical plane is a potential space between contiguous organs which can be reproducibly created by dissection…. It has long been a strong personal preference to find these planes around the gut and its derivatives with exasperating slowness

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