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August 1974

Pancreatitis: Surgical Management

Author Affiliations

From the Department of General Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Cleveland Clinic Educational Foundation, Cleveland.

Arch Surg. 1974;109(2):298-303. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360020158031

The surgeon contemplating an operation for pancreatitis must have a clear mission in mind: to correct a complication of the disease, establish the diagnosis, identify or correct an etiologic factor, drain a pseudocyst, decompress an obstructed pancreatic duct system, or resect a severely diseased gland. Occasionally, the presence of carcinoma of the pancreas must be confirmed or excluded. The key to treatment is the operative pancreatogram.

Our experience with surgical procedures for pancreatitis in 177 patients has been reviewed. Twelve patients died, a postoperative mortality of 6%. At the present time 131 patients are doing well, 16 patients have recurring pain or other problems, cancer of the pancreas has developed in four patients, and 14 patients were lost to follow-up. Pancreatitis is frequently a recurring and progressive disease.