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Survey Report
March 28, 1964

Gastric Freezing

JAMA. 1964;187(13):1032-1033. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060260060023

SINCE THE INTRODUCTION of gastric freezing for the treatment of peptic duodenal ulcer in 1961, there has been considerable controversy concerning the efficacy of the procedure and the complications associated with it.

Although different investigators use slightly different techniques, the procedure for gastric freezing involves, in general, having the patient swallow a balloon and tubing through which is circulated, for a period of approximately 45 minutes, a solution of ethyl alcohol regulated so that the inflow temperature is between -15 and -20 C (+5 and -4 F) and the outflow temperature is between -8 and -10 C (+18 and +14 F). This procedure is based on the theory that, by lowering the temperature of the stomach, gastric secretion will be reduced for a period and thus permit a duodenal ulcer to heal.

In an attempt to assess the current status of gastric freezing, investigators in the use of the procedure

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