June 1973

Changes in the Surgical Treatment of Peptic Ulcer

Author Affiliations

Fitchburg, Mass
From the Surgical Service, Burbank Hospital, Fitchburg, Mass.

Arch Surg. 1973;106(6):822-825. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350180056017

A previous article reported 300 patients treated for benign ulcer disease by gastric resection at Burbank Hospital from 1952 through 1962.

The present article studies 225 patients treated surgically during the years 1963 through 1971 and assesses the impact of changes in surgical management. We have found favorable, though not statistically significant, trends in mortality and morbidity, especially in patients with duodenal ulcers. The patient mortality fell from 6.3% to 4.4% overall, from 7.2% to 4.4% for duodenal ulcer, and from 3.3% to 1.2% for elective operations.

In investigating reasons for the improvement, it was found that gastric resection remains the principal mode of treatment, but there is an increase in other procedures combined with vagotomy, especially in difficult situations. More liberal use of duodenostomy tubes seems to be another reason for improved results.