Papers And Originals

Five- to Eight-year Results of Truncal Vagotomy and Pyloroplasty for Duodenal Ulcer

Br Med J 1972; 1 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.5791.7 (Published 01 January 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;1:7
  1. J. C. Goligher,
  2. C. N. Pulvertaft,
  3. T. T. Irvin,
  4. D. Johnston,
  5. B. Walker,
  6. R. A. Hall,
  7. J. Willson-Pepper,
  8. T. S. Matheson

    Abstract

    From January 1963 to December 1965 inclusive 192 men with duodenal ulcer were treated by elective truncal vagotomy and pyloroplasty with one death. Ten subsequent deaths were due to causes unrelated to the ulcer or operation, and 17 patients became untraceable. The remaining 164 patients have been followed up for five to eight years. The late results have been compared with those obtained in a previous study of patients five to eight years after truncal vagotomy and gastroenterostomy, truncal vagotomy and antrectomy, and subtotal gastrectomy respectively for duodenal ulcer.

    Of the various postgastric operation syndromes early dumping, late dumping, bilious vomiting, and diarrhoea were all less frequent, but not significantly so, after vagotomy and pyloroplasty than after vagotomy and gastroenterostomy.

    Recurrent ulceration was commoner after vagotomy and pyloroplasty than after all the other operations, the incidence of proved and suspected recurrent ulcers being respectively 6·7 and 7·3% after vagotomy and pyloroplasty, but only 2·5 and 5·9% after vagotomy and gastroenterostomy, 0 and 5·2% after vagotomy and antrectomy, and 0·9 and 3·7% after subtotal gastrectomy. The differences between vagotomy and pyloroplasty and vagotomy and antrectomy or subtotal gastrectomy are statistically significant, but those between vagotomy and pyloroplasty and vagotomy and gastroenterostomy are not.

    Overall assessment (Visick grading) of the outcome gave poorer results after vagotomy and pyloroplasty than after any other operation, with 14% of category IV cases after vagotomy and pyloroplasty, 11% after vagotomy and gastroenterostomy, 8% after vagotomy and antrectomy, and 6% after subtotal gastrectomy—differences that are significant between vagotomy and pyloroplasty and vagotomy and antrectomy or subtotal gastrectomy but not between vagotomy and pyloroplasty and vagotomy and gastroenterostomy.

    In the light of these findings it is suggested that truncal vagotomy and pyloroplasty has not lived up to expectations and its place as the currently most popular procedure in the elective surgical treatment of duodenal ulcer should be reconsidered.