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Acta Chir Belg. 2005 Nov-Dec;105(6):588-91.

Surgical management of acute perforation of peptic ulcers. A single centre experience.

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  • 1Department of Digestive and Endoscopic Surgery, CHU-Brugmann, ULB, Brussels, Belgium.



Acute perforation may occur in gastric and duodenal ulcers. During the past decade, the need for elective operation for peptic ulceration has decreased as medical treatment has improved. However, emergency operations for acute complications such as perforation or bleeding remain constant. Actually, the treatment of choice is simple suture-closure, with or without omentoplasty, and peritoneal lavage or even omentoplasty alone, associated with a high intravenous dose of inhibitors of the proton pump and Helicobacter pylori eradication, if needed.


The standard treatment in our team is to perform a peritoneal lavage and drainage and a simple closure of the ulcer with an omentoplasty. A first retrospective analysis was made on data collected from 1996 to 2001 and we completed a prospective study from 2001 to 2003 to compare our results with our old data and with data collected from other teams.


The mean age and the mean ASA score were similar in the two groups. For the majority of the patients, the diagnosis was made from symptoms and the presence of free abdominal air. The delay between arrival in the emergency room and the operating room was significantly shorter in the second group, but operating time was longer in this group. Morbidity was more frequent in the first group but mortality remained quite similar. Our results indicate that in a trained team the morbidity has decreased as the delay in surgery decreased and that the rate of diagnosis on plain abdominal film has increased. Laparoscopic suture of a perforated peptic ulcer is as safe as the open procedure but allows the surgeon to search for another cause of free air and offers the possibility, if conversion is needed, to perform a shorter laparotomy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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