The long-term course of fifty-seven patients surgically treated for perforated duodenal ulcer was studied. Patients were classified in two groups depending on whether acute or chronic ulceration was present. The recurrence of symptoms of ulcer and the need for further surgery were no less in patients with acute rather than chronic ulcers. Simple closure of the perforation in both groups was followed by a high incidence of recurrence of peptic disease. In approximately half the patients in whom major complications developed, these complications appeared more than five years after the initial perforation and operation.
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