Two hundred sixty-five patients who underwent vagotomy and pyloroplasty for duodenal ulcer disease were observed postoperatively, 220 for two to ten years, with an average follow-up of five years.
Vagotomy and pyloroplasty carried a higher overall recurrence rate (3.6%) than did subtotal gastrectomy and vagotomy (1%), largely because of the high ulcer recurrence rate more than two years after operation for massive bleeding (9.2%) rather than that following elective operation (1.8%). Thirty-five percent of these patients with recurrent ulcers did well with medical management and did not require a second operation.
The mortality of vagotomy and pyloroplasty for a massively bleeding ulcer (11%) was less than that following subtotal gastrectomy (21%). The mortality of elective vagotomy and pyloroplasty was 1%.