RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S.
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Perforated pyloroduodenal ulcers. Long-term results with omental patch closure and parietal cell vagotomy.

OBJECTIVE: The authors evaluated parietal cell vagotomy and omental patch closure as treatment for perforated pyloroduodenal ulcers.

BACKGROUND DATA: Since the beginning of the century, there has been a difference of opinion as to whether perforated pyloroduodenal ulcers are best managed with nonoperative treatment, simple closure, or definitive treatment, i.e., a procedure that handles the emergency problem and simultaneously provides protection against further ulcer disease. The criticism of using definitive treatment at the time of perforation has been that some patients who might not have recurrent ulcer, if a definitive operation was not performed, would be at risk of adverse postoperative sequelae, including death. Parietal cell vagotomy as treatment of intractable duodenal ulcer disease was shown to be almost without complications. The objective of this study was to determine if the operation was equally applicable to perforated pyloroduodenal ulcers.

METHODS: A group of 107 selected patients with perforated pyloroduodenal ulcers underwent definitive treatment by omental patch closure and parietal cell vagotomy. The patients were evaluated prospectively on an annual basis up to 21 years. Gastric analyses were performed on each visit for which the patient gave his/her consent. Patients suspected of a recurrent ulcer were examined endoscopically for verification.

RESULTS: There was one death (0.9%). Ninety-three patients were observed for follow-up for 2 to 21 years. The recurrent ulcer rate by life table analysis was 7.4%. The reoperative rate was 1.9%. Postoperative gastric sequelae were insignificant. All but four patients were graded Visick I or II at the time of their last evaluation.

CONCLUSION: This study confirms that the combination of parietal cell vagotomy and omental patch closure is an excellent choice for treatment of patients with perforated pyloroduodenal ulcers, who, by virtue of their age, fitness, and status of the peritoneal cavity are candidates for definitive surgery. Virtually none of the morbidity that occurs with other forms of definitive treatment is inflicted on patients who might never have needed a definitive operation if simple closure was performed. At the same time, it provides definitive therapy for the larger number of patients who subsequently would have required a second operation for continued ulcer disease if simple closure alone was performed. Whether this operation is performed at the time of perforation should depend on the presence or absence of risk factors, rather than whether the ulcer is acute or chronic.

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