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African Health Sciences

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Case Series: Cost effective management of duodenal ulcers in Uganda: interventions based on a series of seven cases

Gabriel R Nzarubara

Abstract


Background Our understanding of the cause and treatment of peptic ulcer disease has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. It was quite common some years ago to treat chronic ulcers surgically. These days, the operative treatment is restricted to the small proportion of ulcer patients who have complications such as perforation. The author reports seven cases of perforated duodenal ulcers seen in a surgical clinic between 1995 and 2001. Recommendations on the criteria for selecting the appropriate surgical intervention for patients with perforated duodenal ulcer are given.

Objective: To decide on the appropriate surgical interventions for patients with perforated duodenal ulcer.

Design: These are case series of 7 patients who presented with perforated duodenal ulcers without a history of peptic ulcer disease.

Materials and methods: Seven patients presented with perforated duodenal ulcer 72 hours after perforation in a specialist surgical clinic in Kampala were analyzed. Appropriate management based on these patients is suggested.

Results: These patients were initially treated in upcountry clinics for acute gastritis from either alcohol consumption or suspected food poisoning. There was no duodenal ulcer history. As a result, they came to specialist surgical clinic more than 72 hours after perforation. Diagnosis of perforated duodenal ulcer was made and they were operated using the appropriate surgical intervention.

Conclusion: Diagnosis of hangovers and acute gastritis from alcoholic consumption or suspected food poisoning should be treated with suspicion because the symptoms and signs may mimic perforated peptic ulcer in “silent” chronic ulcers. The final decision on the appropriate surgical intervention for patients with perforated duodenal ulcer stratifies them into two groups: The previously fit patients who have relatively mild physiological compromise imposed on previously healthy organ system by the perforation can withstand the operative stress of definitive procedure.

The Second category includes patients who are critically ill, who poorly tolerate any operation and hence poor surgical risks. These require urgent, adequate resuscitation and simple suture with omental patch.
African Journal of Health Sciences Vol.5(1) 2005: 73-78



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