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August 1995

Pylorus-Preserving Whipple Resection for Pancreatic Cancer: Is It Any Better?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Sepulveda Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif, and the Department of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1995;130(8):838-843. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1995.01430080040005

Objective:  To compare the short- and long-term morbidity and mortality rates of the standard Whipple pancreatoduodenectomy (SW) and its pylorus-preserving modification (PPW) in patients with malignant periampullary disease.

Design:  Retrospective medical record review and quality of life assessment by telephone interview.

Setting:  University medical center.

Study Participants:  Sixty-seven patients who underwent pancreatoduodenectomy (52 SW and 15 PPW) from June 1988 to January 1994.

Intervention:  The SW and PPW.

Main Outcome Measures:  Operative features and short- and long-term complications were analyzed with respect to the type and stage of cancer and the kind of pancreatic resection. Mean follow-up was 32 months (range, 1 to 5 years).

Results:  The operative mortality rate for all patients who had a pancreatic resection was 1.5%. The diagnoses in the PPW vs SW groups were pancreatic cancer (four vs 27 patients), ampullary cancer (six vs seven patients), duodenal cancer (zero vs six patients), and bile duct cancer (five vs one patient). Operative mortality rates (0% vs 1.55%) and operative times (2 minutes longer for SW) were similar. Delayed gastric emptying (61% vs 41%) was more common in the PPW group, resulting in a longer hospitalization (24 vs 18 days) and a greater cost in the PPW group (P=.04). In the PPW group, a mean of five lymph nodes was removed compared with 10 in the SW group (P=.04).

Conclusions:  The data provided no evidence of any advantage for the PPW in patients with malignant periampullary tumors. We continue to advocate the SW for pancreatic cancer.(Arch Surg. 1995;130:838-843)