Perioperative clinical management in relation to emergency surgery for perforated peptic ulcer: A nationwide questionnaire survey

Johanne Gormsen*, Amanda Brunchmann, Nadia A. Henriksen, Thomas Korgaard Jensen, Kim Bøgelund Laugesen, Ehsan Motavaf, Emma Marie Possfelt-Møller, Kristian Aagaard Poulsen, Anders Peter Skovsen, Peter Svenningsen, Line Toft Tengberg, Jakob Burcharth

*Corresponding author for this work


Background & aims: Perforation is a severe complication of peptic ulcer disease. Evidence regarding perioperative management of patients undergoing surgery for perforated peptic ulcer is scarce without any clear guidelines. This study aimed to investigate the clinical practice and possible differences in the perioperative management of patients undergoing emergency surgery for perforated peptic ulcers in Denmark. Methods: The study was an anonymous, nationwide questionnaire survey. All doctors working at general surgical departments in Denmark were included. The questionnaire consisted of four parts; 1) demographic details including job position, subspecialty, geographic location, and surgical experience, 2) pre- and postoperative use of nasoenteral tubes, 3) routine use of nil-by-mouth (NBM) regime, 4) questions regarding postoperative nutrition.Subgroup analyses were performed according to job position and subspecialty. Results: In total, the questionnaire was answered by 287 surgeons, of which 74% were experienced surgeons being able to perform surgery for perforated peptic ulcers independently.Pre- and postoperative nasoenteral tubes were used routinely by the majority of the respondents. One of five surgeons routinely practiced a postoperative NBM regime. Generally, the respondents allowed clear fluids postoperatively without restrictions but were reluctant to allow free fluids or solid foods. Two of three surgeons routinely used tube- or parental nutrition. The results varied depending on job position and subspecialty. Conclusions: After emergency surgery, the postoperative management of patients with perforated peptic ulcers varies considerably among general surgeons in Denmark. Evidence-based national or international guidelines are needed to standardize and optimize the clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Pages (from-to)299-305
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Humans
  • Peptic Ulcer
  • Peptic Ulcer Perforation/surgery
  • Postoperative Period
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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