The Homoeopathic Surgical Viewpoint Abroad – The British Homoeopathic Journal for October, 1926, contains as its leading article “A Series of One Hundred and Thirty-five Consecutive Abdominal Sections with Mortality Statement and Comments on Special Cases,” by Edwin A. Neatby, M.D., consulting physician for diseases of women to the London Homoeopathic Hospital.
Dr. Neatby, whose surgical ability is well-known, both in England and the United States, among homoeopathic physicians, proceeds thus -.
“The object of this collection of cases is not to enable me to boast of a phenomenally low mortality, but to give a general idea of methods and treatment adopted by myself in the gynaecological department of the London Homoeopathic Hospital and in private work.
There were five deaths in the series, a percentage of 3.7. It would have been easy to lessen the percentage by including a large number of comparatively minor abdominal operations, such as ventri-suspensions and appendicectomies”.
Under the caption Treatment and with reference to medicinal therapy solely, Dr. Neatby goes on to say -.
“A few words on medicinal treatment must bring my paper to an end.
As to fibroids, though we regard them as ultimates in some obscure biological process, I think there is more hope of benefit by medicine of one kind or another in treating than there is in ovarian tumours, though we still know very little as to the aetiology of them. The fact that they develop during the period of reproductive activity, and that they either induce or follow relative sterility leads to the conclusion that they owe their origin to a disturbance of endocrine balance. This view is supported by the frequent diminution of these tumours after the menopause. I have used a variety of glandular preparations without being able to convince myself that any of them has a specific effect.
If the tumour is producing no mechanical effect, and is not otherwise injuring a patients health, I think, in view of their technical innocence, it is justifiable to experiment with drugs. Certain remedies are undoubtedly of use in checking haemorrhage unless it be due to a submucous fibroid in process of expulsion. The most successful in my hands have been calcium salts – the carbonate, phosphate and iodide. I do not think the lactate has any advantage over the others.
These probably act by increasing the coagulability of the blood. It is a pity some one does not test this. Secale, aurum, platinum, phosphorus, hydrastinin and trillium are other remedies I use frequently. The indications for them are the same as in other cases of uterine haemorrhage. Less frequently I use sabina, crocus and murex purpurea. I have seen relief to bleeding and improvement of general health follow the use of these drugs, and I have at the same time watched the tumours owned by these patients steadily grow notwithstanding. The same is true when the prescriber has been a better homoeopathist than myself.
A similar remark will apply to the use of X-rays for fibroids. I have watched their steady growth while experts have been using the rays. This treatment nevertheless has a sphere – acting probably by reducing ovarian activity. I have sent a few symptomless fibroids to our X-ray department, and reduction in size has taken place. About the ultimate fate of these tumours I cannot speak from personal knowledge. A similar reduction used to follow oophorectomy thirty years ago, but the control so induced was often only temporary, and the method has of course been abandoned; though I notice that in one of my series it was carried out because the patient could not stand a long operation.
X-rays do not affect submucous growths, and consequently are excluded from the very cases where such a palliative would be valuable. For pedunculated subperitoneal tumours their only value seems to be in inducing degenerative changes (through reduced nutrition) which necessitate a radical operation!.
The other uses of homoeopathic medicines are before and after operation – before, by way of preparation. Arnica or (after severe bleeding) ferri protoxalate in half-grain doses; to lessen chloroform sickness phosphorus or (since Dr. Henderson Patricks paper) rhus tox. After operation according to the condition: action, bell., or chamomilla for sleeplessness or excessive pain. For the last-named I do not scruple to give a dose sedative. For retention of urine, gelsem. or causticum; if retention follows on catheterism I give cantharis. Strophanthus is useful (half a dozen doses) for a pulse too rapid, but not due to fever or sepsis.