The outcome of surgery for perforated peptic ulcer in modern times


  • Ruchir Vats Department of General Surgery, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
  • Babar Rehmani Department of General Surgery, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
  • Saurabh Agrawal Department of General Surgery, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India



Mortality, Peptic ulcer perforation, Peritonitis


Background: A laparotomy for peritonitis due to perforated peptic ulcer is one of the commonest emergency operations done by a general surgeon and is still associated with a marked mortality and morbidity. The aim was to assess the current mortality and morbidity in patients operated for perforated peptic ulcer and to identify the factors associated with increased mortality in these patients.

Methods: All adult patients operated for perforated peptic ulcer over a period of one year were included in this prospective observational study. The demographics, clinical presentation, pre-operative laboratory parameters, operative findings, operation done, and the outcomes were noted in pre-designed proforma. Mortality and morbidity was assessed and factors relating to increased mortality were determined using standard statistical tests of significance such as Chi square test and the student’s t test.

Results: 55 patients underwent laparotomy for perforated peptic ulcer (23 gastric and 32 duodenal perforations). There were 53 males and only 2 females in the group. Their mean age was 44 years. The mortality was 16% (9/55) and morbidity was 25% (14/55). Complications were encountered in 14 patients, most commonly surgical site infection in 13% cases, entero-cutaneous fistula occurred in 3 patients and one of them expired despite re-exploration due to persistent sepsis. The other two patients survived, and fistula healed spontaneously. The operative procedure done was Graham’s patch or it’s modification. Only 2 patients had antrectomy with Billroth II reconstruction.

Conclusions: Despite the advances in management of critically ill patients, the mortality (16%) and morbidity (25%) for this common surgical emergency remains high and is unchanged over the last half century. Presence of comorbidities and low serum albumin are associated with an increased risk of adverse outcome.


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Original Research Articles