Gastroenterology: To Freeze or Not to Freeze?

Controversy over both the value and safety of stomach freezing as a treatment of duodenal ulcers has been growing ever since a research team working under Surgery Professor Owen H. Wangensteen at the University of Minnesota Hospitals reported the first promising results (TIME, May 18, 1962). Freezing the stomach wall for a short time, Dr. Wangensteen explained, knocks out much of its capacity for producing hydrochloric acid, thus reducing the amount of the corrosive juice that flows into the duodenum, the next chamber down the digestive tract. If acid production should bounce...

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