Eighty patients with bleeding oesophageal varices, who were considered to be unfit for shunt surgery, were treated by oesophageal transection and subdiaphragmatic devascularisation. The overall hospital mortality was 14% and, after an average follow-up of nearly three years, 69% are still alive. Late recurrent bleeding occurred in 14 patients but varices were shown to be responsible in only four. Postoperative portal systemic encephalopathy has not been a problem.
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