July 1978

A New Method of Gastric Drainage Following Truncal Vagotomy

Author Affiliations

Dundee, Scotland

Arch Surg. 1978;113(7):905-906. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1978.01370190127031

It is generally believed that some of the unpleasant sequelae of truncal vagotomy (TV) and pyloroplasty are caused not by nerve section but instead are related in some way to irreparable destruction of the bidirectionally competent pyloric ring.

Experience of the earlier vagotomists was that an accompanying drainage operation was necessary to avoid gastric stasis. Further scrutiny of these earlier publications, however, shows that although symptoms of stasis occur, they are by no means universal, and according to Glenn1 "diminish within a period of 6-10 weeks." Slaney et al2 went as far as claiming that in their series of 74 TVs without a drainage operation "in no case did serious gastric stasis arise." It therefore appears that after TV alone, gastric retention never develops in many patients, and in the majority in whom it does, such stasis improves with time and does not constitute a long-term problem. It

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