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J R Soc Med. 2005 August; 98(8): 386.
PMCID: PMC1181851


The development of a nasal septal perforation after application of disc magnets (Mr Pahor's letter in the June 2005 JRSM1) raises the possibility of using such magnets therapeutically. A common surgical emergency involves the resection of a perforated or obstructed piece of bowel. What then to do with the two ends?2 Primary anastomosis involves a risk of leakage, and bringing out one or both ends as a stoma means a second laparotomy to restore intestinal continuity. An alternative strategy now presents itself as a possibility: bring out one end as a terminal stoma and loosely attach the distal end to the side of the proximal using two disc magnets to induce pressure necrosis across the join (see Figure 1). Intestinal continuity would then be re-established after a few days with no risk of leakage and the terminal stoma could simply be closed. I recommend a trial of this idea to anybody with the necessary facilities.

Figure 1
Proposed technique with magnets


1. Pahor AL. Magnets. J R Soc Med 2005;98: 293 [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Day TK, Bates T. Obstructing/perforated carcinoma of the left colon treated by resection and formation of a double colostomy. Br J Surg 1984;71: 558-60 [PubMed]

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