April 1971

Gastric Decompression Following Vagotomy and Drainage Procedures

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich
From the Department of Surgery, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(4):248-250. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350040010003

This is a comparative clinical and experimental study using the conventional nasogastric tube for five postoperative days after pyloroplasty and vagotomy and a method of tubeless decompression relying on the presence of gastric and intestinal motility and postural mechanical drainage. The study revealed the significant value of the "tubeless" method, including an appreciably lower incidence of complications, earlier ambulation, less patient discomfort, fewer postoperative laboratory studies, and an average three days shorter stay in the hospital. The "routine" use of the nasogastric tube is to be condemned for uncomplicated cases, being reserved for cases of obvious gastric outlet obstruction, bleeding and perforated ulcers.