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J Am Coll Surg. 1998 Dec;187(6):591-6.

Results of a technique of pancreaticojejunostomy that optimizes blood supply to the pancreas.

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Department of Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.



Anastomotic failure after pancreaticojejunostomy is still a common problem. Failure rates have not decreased perceptibly in the past 3 decades. The neck of the pancreas is a vascular watershed between celiac and superior mesenteric arterial systems. Prior attempts to reduce anastomotic failure at pancreaticojejunostomy have not focused on issues related to blood supply of the pancreas. The aim of this study was to determine whether pancreaticojejunostomy performed using a technique that included optimization of blood supply to the pancreas, would result in a low anastomotic failure rate.


The technique was prospectively evaluated in 40 patients having pancreaticojejunostomy, 39 during pancreaticoduodenectomy and 1 after traumatic transection of the neck of the pancreas. Blood supply to the pancreatic neck was evaluated clinically and by Doppler techniques. When blood supply was considered marginal, the pancreas was re-resected 1.5-2.0 cm to the left, away from the vascular watershed.


Blood supply at the cut margin of pancreas was judged as brisk in 24 patients and marginal in 16 patients. Resecting a segment of pancreas in these 16 patients resulted in brisk bleeding from the new cut margin in all but 1 patient who had an anomalous artery that had to be sacrificed for oncologic reasons. The only fistula in the series occurred in this patient. There were no intraabdominal abscesses.


A technique that includes ensuring adequate blood supply to the pancreas can result in a very low rate of anastomotic failure.

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