Although there has been a decrease in the number of elective operations for peptic ulcer disease, emergency operations for life-threatening complications of the disease have not diminished. Surgery for hemorrhage, perfusion, obstruction, and intractability should be tailored to the individual needs of the patient. The nature of the ulcer disease, efficacy of the operative procedure, morbidity associated with the procedure, and risk to the patient must be assessed carefully during selection of the appropriate procedure for the patient. Of patients whose ulcers recur after surgery, half will need reoperation.
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