In developing countries surgery is indicated in patients with portal hypertension for a variety of reasons. This study prospectively evaluates a modified technique of devascularization for secondary prophylaxis of variceal bleeding in patients with portal hypertension of different aetiologies. Transabdominal extensive oesophagogastric devascularization combined with transmural ligation of oesophageal and gastric varices was performed in 16 paediatric patients (nine with extrahepatic portal venous obstruction, and seven with non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis) in an elective setting. The Sugiura devascularization procedure was modified to minimize the operating time and to avoid the problems associated with oesophageal transection and anastomosis. The operative mortality rate as well as the oesophageal leak rate was zero. One patient developed an oesophageal stricture. During a 12-month follow-up, patients were seen with residual varices (2), recurrent varices (3) and rebleeding (1). Porto-systemic encephalopathy was seen in one patient only. This technique is a simple, straightforward, safe and effective modification of the Sugiura procedure in controlling bleeding, providing good quality of life with minimal porto-systemic encephalopathy.