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March 1995

Standards for Pancreatic Resection in the 1990s

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Arch Surg. 1995;130(3):295-300. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1995.01430030065013

Objective:  To describe the current indications and operative outcomes of pancreatic resection.

Design:  Retrospective case series.

Setting:  Referral practice in a university hospital.

Patients:  Two hundred thirty-one consecutive patients undergoing pancreatoduodenectomy (PD), distal pancreatectomy (DP), or total pancreatectomy (TP) over a 44-month period. Their ages ranged from 16 to 85 years, with a mean of 54 years; 20% of the patients were 70 years old or older.

Main Outcome Measures:  Mortality, complications, and length of hospital stay.

Results:  Operative mortality was 0.4% (one death following DP); there were no deaths in 142 PDs or in 18 TPs. The most common complication following PD was delayed gastric emptying. Pancreatic fistula occurred in 6.3% of PD and in 9.8% of DP patients. Overall, 58% of PD, 80% of DP, and 78% of TP patients had no complications. The mean±SD length of hospital stay was 15±7, 10±5, and 15±6 days for PD, DP, and TP, respectively. Reoperation for any cause was necessary in only 1.2% (3/231). The most frequent indication for PD was pancreatic cancer (36%) followed by chronic pancreatitis (26%); for DP it was chronic pancreatitis (28%) and cystic neoplasms (27%); and for TP, chronic pancreatitis (55%). Newer indications for pancreatic resection included mucinous ductal ectasia and intraductal papillary tumors (eight cases, 4%) and metastatic tumors (eight cases, 4%).

Conclusions:  Current indications for pancreatic resection have expanded. These procedures are associated with a low risk for death and postoperative complications when performed in a high-volume setting.(Arch Surg. 1995;130:295-300)