In a prospective, multicenter and interdisciplinary study (DUSUK I) the present position of elective surgery in uncomplicated peptic duodenal and gastric ulcers was evaluated. Ten Düsseldorf hospitals (surgery and internal medicine) participated in the study. The investigation focussed on the proportion of operated patients related to hospitals and clinical disciplines, the operative procedure and results and possible selection criteria for the indication of operation. In the study period a total of 1030 patients with uncomplicated peptic ulcer was documented, an incidence of indoor patients with uncomplicated peptic ulcers of 180/100,000 inhabitants/year and an incidence of elective ulcer surgery of 7.5/100,000 inhabitants/year was calculated. Patients primarily admitted to surgical units were operated in 27% of cases (39/146) in contrast to 0.5% (4/884) of patients primarily admitted to internal units. The majority of hospitals perform rare or no elective peptic ulcer surgery at all. There is a considerable difference between the hospitals and clinical disciplines. The collective of operated patients concentrated on young patients with positive ulcer history. In the long run a negative effect on surgical training and results is apprehended.