Complete vagotomy was introduced as a main surgical treatment for peptic ulcer by Dragstedt and Owens1 in 1943. It has been tried since by our group,2 by Moore and his associates,3 Machella and his co-workers,4 Walters,5 Harkins and Hooker,6 Paulson and Gladsden,7 Sanders,8 Crile,9 Schoen and Griswold,10 Schauffer,11 Beattie12 and others. Most authors describe favorable results and are continuing use of the operation.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the usefulness of vagotomy is limited by occurrence of side effects or complications rather than by frequent failure of healing of the ulcers. All authors have confirmed original observations of Dragstedt that usually after vagotomy acidity of gastric secretions is reduced, motility of the stomach is altered and ulcers heal. Duration of these effects must be learned. Study groups13 that began to use the operation four to six