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Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1987 Jun;164(6):545-8.

Progress in reconstruction after resection of the head of the pancreas.


Fistulas of the pancreas due to dehiscence of pancreaticojejunostomy after partial pancreaticoduodenectomy caused severe postoperative complications. Whereas various methods with and without anastomosis of the pancreas are recommended to deal with the pancreatic stump, mortality rates of 20 to 75 per cent have been reported. These different results prompted us to start a prospective, nonrandomized study in which three methods of reconstructing the remnant of the pancreas involving anastomosis were compared with pancreaticocutaneous drainage without anastomosis. One hundred and thirty-one patients with partial pancreaticoduodenectomy entered this trial, 54 female and 77 male patients with an average age of 55.9 years. The indications included: 42 instances of chronic pancreatitis, 44 instances of carcinoma of the pancreas and 45, periampullary carcinoma. We performed 33 end to side pancreaticojejunostomy procedures (four fistulas of the pancreas, a mortality rate of 15.0 per cent), 31 end to end anastomoses (three fistulas of the pancreas, a mortality rate of 6.5 per cent) and 48 double loops with anastomoses of the pancreatic and hepatic duct to separate jejunal loops (nine fistulas of the pancreas, a mortality rate of 2 per cent). Nineteen patients were operated upon using external drainage of the pancreatic stump by means of Penrose drains (five fistulas of the pancreas, a mortality rate of zero per cent). To reduce the fatal risks caused by combined fistulas of the pancreas and biliary tract, the use of separate intestinal loops for anastomoses of the pancreas and biliary tract offers the best solution, since no fatal complications of the pancreaticojejunostomy were observed. In contrast, pancreaticocutaneous drainage was performed upon patients with endangered pancreatic anastomoses due to local morphologic conditions, such as tender pancreatic parenchyma or thin pancreatic ducts. The total loss of exocrine function and the high morbidity rate of 37 per cent is justified in spite of the mortality rate of zero per cent. Total pancreaticoduodenectomy, for technical reasons, represents no acceptable alternative in view of higher mortality rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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