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Surgery. 2012 Sep;152(3 Suppl 1):S128-34. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2012.05.021. Epub 2012 Jul 6.

Minimally invasive operations for acute necrotizing pancreatitis: comparison of minimally invasive retroperitoneal necrosectomy with endoscopic transgastric necrosectomy.

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  • 1Department of General and Visceral Surgery, Universit√§tsklinikum Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.



A "step-up" approach is currently the treatment of choice for acute necrotizing pancreatitis. Our aim was to evaluate the outcome of minimally invasive retroperitoneal necrosectomy (MINE) and endoscopic transgastric necrosectomy (ETG) and to compare it to open necrosectomy (ONE).


Patients with acute pancreatitis admitted to our institution from 1998 to 2010 (n = 334) were identified. From these, patients who underwent either ONE, MINE, or ETG were selected for further analysis. Statistical analysis employed 2-sided Fisher's exact test and Mann-Whitney U-test.


From 2002 to 2010, 32 patients with acute necrotizing pancreatitis were treated by minimally invasive procedures including MINE (n = 14) and ETG (n = 18) or with the classic technique of ONE (n = 30). Time from onset of symptoms to intervention was less for ONE than for MINE or ETG (median, 11 vs 39 vs 54 days; P < .05). The rate of critically ill patients with sepsis or septic shock was greatest in ONE (93%) and MINE (71%) compared with ETG (17%; P < .05). Problems after ONE and MINE were ongoing sepsis (ONE 73% vs MINE 29% vs ETG 11%) and bleeding requiring intervention (ONE 26% vs MINE 21% vs ETG 17%). A specific complication of ETG was gastric perforation into the peritoneal cavity during the procedure (28%), requiring immediate open pseudocystogastrostomy. Laparotomy was necessary in 21% after MINE and 28% after ETG owing to specific complications or persistent infected necrosis. Overall mortality was greatest after ONE (ONE 63% vs MINE 21% vs ETG 6%; P < .05).


Morbidity and mortality remains high in acute necrotizing pancreatitis. Operative procedures should be delayed as long as possible to decrease morbidity and mortality. Minimally invasive procedures can avoid laparotomy, but also introduce specific complications requiring immediate or secondary open operative treatment. Minimally invasive procedures require unique expertise and therefore should only be performed at specialized centers.

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