Patients with an ulcer that fails to heal despite exhaustive medical treatment
require scheduled ulcer repair. Patients with an ulcer that perforates (forms a
hole in the intestine) or bleeds repeatedly or excessively require emergency
In emergency situations patients only need a few simple X-rays and occasionally
an upper endoscopy called an EGD. In elective situations all patients receive
either an upper endoscopy or upper GI barium study. In some cases blood tests
are used to look for the causes of the ulcers.
Depending upon the individual situation this ranges from simply patching the
hole with adjacent fatty tissue (Graham patch) to cutting the nerves which
cause ulcers (vagotomy) and rerouting the intestine (pyloroplasty) to removing
the part of the stomach which produces the acid (antrectomy) and rerouting the
Length of Stay
Variable depending upon overall patient health and whether the surgery was
elective or emergent. The average for elective surgery is about five days whereas
for emergency surgery this may be longer.
4 to 6 weeks with no driving for 2 weeks and no lifting over 10 pounds for