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To the Editor.—I read the brief note by Penn regarding the decreased incidence of gastric surgery for peptic ulcer disease (Archives 115:134-135, 1980). This is a fact that I have been aware of for some time, and there are two observations that I would like to make. First, the decrease in the number of cases of peptic ulcer disease that require surgery predated the use of cimetidine and other newer medications. Although these medications help, the trend was already established before the use of cimetidine was widespread in this area. Second, we no longer see the acute perforated peptic ulcers, half of which occurred in patients who had not previously been treated for peptic ulcer disease. For example, ten years ago the service I am responsible for would have one or two perforated ulcers a month; now we do not have a perforated ulcer in two years. Although cimetidine
WOODS RR. Surgeons and Peptic Ulcer Disease. Arch Surg. 1980;115(9):1136. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380090100025