February 1965

Gastric Freezing or Gastric Frostbite?

Author Affiliations

From the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Department of Surgery. Present Address, University Clinic of Surgery, Heidelberg, Germany, (Dr. Kolig).

Arch Surg. 1965;90(2):182-187. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320080006002

SINCE WANGENSTEEN and associates'25 earliest papers on "physiological gastrectomy" through gastric freezing, there has been considerable controversy with regard to the efficacy of the freeze in the reduction of gastric acid2,3,9,10,20,21 Of even more concern to clinicians, however, have been the persistent reports that the procedure itself is not without risk.1,8,15,21 Mild bleeding and gastric ulceration are the most commonly reported problems following freezing in patients. Wangensteen himself has reported such complications and has stated that they have influenced him frequently to reappraise the freezing technique.3,25 Of still more concern have been the reports of death directly related to postfreezing gastric ulcer. In laboratory animals, McIlrath and others,17 Artz et al,1 Savage and others,20 and Scott and associates21 reported necrotic lesions in canine stomachs subjected to freezing. In this laboratory hemorrhagic necrosis was observed to occur consistently in the acid-bearing portions of

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