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July 1991

Biliary PancreatitisOperative Outcome With a Selective Approach

Arch Surg. 1991;126(7):836-840. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1991.01410310046006

• To evaluate the efficacy of a selective approach to biliary pancreatitis, we reviewed the outcomes in 276 consecutive patients undergoing operations for this diagnosis during a 7-year period. Initial conservative therapy resulted in elective operations in 63% and urgent operations in 37%. Only 10 patients (3.6%) required primary pancreatic operations, 50% of them as emergencies. The proportion of common duct surgical explorations fell from 70% of those operated immediately after hospital admission to 20% by the third hospital day. Overall mortality was 1.8% but was increased to 30% in patients having an initial pancreatic operation. We conclude that a selective approach to biliary pancreatitis allows the operation to be performed electively in most patients and is associated with a low mortality and an acceptable length of stay. Most common duct stones pass spontaneously permitting cholecystectomy alone.

(Arch Surg. 1991;126:836-840)