Papers And Originals

Vagotomy or Gastrectomy for Gastric Ulcer

Br Med J 1973; 4 doi: (Published 13 October 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;4:79
  1. H. L. Duthie,
  2. N. K. Kwong


    Patients treated in a randomized controlled comparison of management of benign gastric ulcer of the body of the stomach, comprising 50 patients treated by Billroth I partial gastrectomy and 50 patients treated by vagotomy and pyloroplasty and biopsy of the ulcer, were followed up for about five years (range one and a half to eight and a half years). No statistically significant difference has been found between the functional results (Visick grading) of the two groups. There was no operative mortality. Postoperative morbidity (17 against 5) and length of stay in hospital (14 against 10 days) were significantly greater after gastrectomy. Seven patients after vagotomy have been submitted to gastrectomy (three for recurrent gastric ulceration, three for gastric cancer, and one for bleeding), which is a statistically significant excess compared with no reoperation after gastrectomy. While vagotomy and pyloroplasty can be useful to avoid a technically difficult gastrectomy, it cannot be said to replace partial gastrectomy in the treatment of gastric ulcer.