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DISEASES, INJURIES, AND MALFORMATIONS
RECTUM AND ANUS,
T. J. ASHTON,
SUBGKON TO THE BLENHEIM DISPENSARY,
MEMBER OF THE PATHOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON,
MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL OF THE HARVEIAN SOCIETY,
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The frequency and severity of the Diseases of the Rectum and Anus, impressed me, at an early period of my professional life, with the importance of studying their pathology and treatment, and the very general existence of these maladies in all classes of society necessarily afforded a wide field for observation.
When the treatment of these affections first occupied my attention, I greatly felt the want of a book to which I could refer for information on some of the more obscure and difficult cases. In the systematic works on Surgery I found the subject but superficially treated ; and though several excellent monographs have been published, the authors have confined their observations to certain of the affections only; among these stand pre-eminently the writings of Mr. Pott, Mr. Copeland, and Mr. Syme. The treatise of Dr. Bushe of New York, who unfortunately died shortly after its publication, is the only one with which I am acquainted that embraces the whole subject, and from it I have gained much valuable information. To Mr. Syme, of Edinburgh, belongs especially the merit of enforcing upon the attention of the Profession, by his writings and practice, a simple, rational and efficacious mode of treating several of these affections, and of endeavouring to unmask the empiricism into which their treatment has chiefly fallen.
The Lectures of Sir Astley Cooper and of Sir Benjamin Brodie. contain much useful information, and are replete with practical observations.
In the following pages, I have endeavoured to give a simple narrative of the nature, causes, symptoms, and the result of my experience in the treatment of the several diseases of this region. I have also quoted the opinions of various authors who had previously written on the subject, either in support of the principles I have adopted, or to illustrate in what respect I differ from them. And I am not without a hope that this work may be of service to those members of the profession who have not had many opportunities of becoming practically acquainted with these diseases, and be the means of enabling them more efficiently to relieve the sufferings of those committed to their charge ; lastly, if I have not accomplished the object