Selective vagotomy is one operative means of reducing gastric acid output. Vagal fibres passing to the stomach are divided, whilst those fibres passing to and from the abdominal viscera are preserved. This technique is particularly indicated where gastric drainage has to be employed, e.g. with pyloric stenosis, stenosing or bleeding duodenal ulcers.
There is a lower incidence of complications such as severe diarrhoea compared to truncal vagotomy, but the ulcer recurrence rate is higher.