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April 1969

The Operative Treatment of Pancreatitis

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich
From the Department of Surgery, Section of General Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(4):406-417. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340100038003

During the past three decades there has been little reduction in the high mortality resulting from pancreatitis, eg, 28% of patients with pancreatitis at The New York Hospital died between 1933 and 1942, 34% between 1943 and 1952 and 25% between 1953 and 1962.1 Recent reports from a variety of other centers indicate that 12% to 25% of patients admitted with pancreatitis die.2-9 That the mortality from pancreatitis remains high despite advances in the availability and application of fluid and whole blood replacement, antibiotics, anesthesia, and surgery is an indication that pancreatitis is a poorly understood disease. Present modes of therapy are sometimes either ineffectual, ill-timed, or often not instituted due to inadequacy of present diagnostic [ill]echniques.

Patients continue to come to autopsy in whom the diagnosis of hemorrhagic pancreatitis has not been established clinically. The diagnosis of pancreatitis following operation and associated with renal failure has proven