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Surgery. 2005 May;137(5):499-505.

Early and late complications after pancreatic necrosectomy.

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Department of Surgery, Royal Liverpool University Hospital.



Surgery for pancreatic necrosis is associated with a high morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to review the incidence of early and late complications after pancreatic necrosectomy in a large contemporary series of patients.


The clinical outcomes of 88 patients who underwent pancreatic necrosectomy between 1997 and 2003 were reviewed.


The median age was 55.5 (range, 18-85) years, 54 (61%) were males, 68 (77%) had primary pancreatic infection, 71 (81%) had >50% necrosis, and the median admission Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score was 9 (range, 1-21). Median time to surgery was 31 (range, 1-161) days; 47 patients underwent minimally invasive necrosectomy and 41 open necrosectomy; 81 (92%) of patients had complications postoperatively, and 25 (28%) died. Multiorgan failure (odds ratio = 3.4, P = .05) and hemorrhage (odds ratio = 6.1, P = .03) were the only independent predictors of mortality. During a median follow-up of 28.9 months, 39 (62%) of 63 surviving patients had one or more late complications: biliary stricture in 4 (6%), pseudocyst in 5 (8%), pancreatic fistula in 8 (13%), gastrointestinal fistula in 1 (2%), delayed collections in 3 (5%), and incisional hernia in 1 (2%); intervention was required in 10 (16%) patients. Sixteen (25%) of 63 surviving patients developed exocrine insufficiency, and 19 (33%) of 58 without prior diabetes mellitus developed endocrine insufficiency.


Almost all patients undergoing necrosectomy developed significant early or late complications or both. Multiorgan failure and postoperative hemorrhage were independent predictors of mortality. Long-term follow-up was important because 62% developed complications, and 16% of those with complications required surgical or endoscopic intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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