Between January 1991 and February 1995 data were gathered on 136 patients operated on in 14 surgical centres. All patients underwent posterior truncal vagotomy (PTV) and anterior linear gastrectomy (ALG) for chronic duodenal ulcer. Recurrence and repeated bleeding were the main indications for surgery. An antireflux technique was simultaneously carried out in 17 patients, while 13 underwent cholecystectomy. There were no peroperative complications or deaths, and the mean duration of operation was 65 (range 25–180) min. Immediate postoperative morbidity rate was 2·9 per cent, with a mean hospital stay of 3·1 (range 2–13) days. A total of 131 patients were evaluated between 6 and 33 (mean 25) months after operation. Of these, 126 (96·2 per cent) were graded as Visick I or II. Four (3·0 per cent) were Visick III, and one patient (0·8 per cent) was considered Visick IV. Gastric function studies were performed in 45 patients before and after operation, with a maximum acid output reduction of 83 per cent 3 months after the operation. Laparoscopic PTV with ALG constitutes a simple, efficient, rapid and safe method in the treatment of patients with chronic duodenal ulcer.