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April 1959

Observations on the Management of the Complications of Peptic Ulcer

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, The School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;78(4):510-512. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320040006002

Despite lack of knowledge of the fundamental cause of peptic ulcer, much is known of the pathogenesis of the disease and its treatment. Medical management, based chiefly upon the principles of control of gastric acidity, and maintenance of general health are effective in most patients; complications, though not prevented completely, are less frequent with sustained treatment. Occasionally, therapy itself is responsible for troublesome problems. Excessively restrictive and impractical diets, for example, may maintain or intensify existing nutritional deficiencies, indirectly retarding the complete healing of peptic ulcer. The elimination of irritants in food and drink is a useful therapeutic adjunct, readily accomplished without limitation of calories or nutritional elements. Antacids, though very useful when administered properly, may cause severe constipation, especially in the very ill or elderly, debilitated patient. Unrecognized or inadequately treated fecal impactions may cause intestinal obstruction, with the added hazards of stercoral ulceration of the descending colon or

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