Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Simplified oesophageal transection for bleeding varices.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 27 May 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:1388
  1. G W Johnston


    Thirty patients with bleeding oesophageal varices were treated by oesophageal transection using the SPTU gun. Any form of shunt was contraindicated in all the patients. Twelve operations were done as urgent procedures within 36 hours of haemorrhage. The overall operative mortality rate was 10%, and there were two late deaths during follow-up, which has so far extended from two months to two years. Three of the patients had recurrent bleeding, and residual varices were probably the source in two. There were no cases of portal systemic encephalopathy. Although the follow-up is too short to allow any definite conclusions, these early results suggest that oesophageal transection with the SPTU gun may be useful in the large proportion of patients in whom injection sclerotherapy, shunt surgery, or conservative treatment is inappropriate.