A Modern Analysis of Morbidity After Pancreatic Resection

Behrman, Stephen W.; Rush, Benjamin T.; Dilawari, Raza A.
August 2004
American Surgeon;Aug2004, Vol. 70 Issue 8, p675
Academic Journal
Complications after pancreatic resection remain prevalent. Procedure-related morbidity has previously focused on prevention of pancreatic and biliary fistulas (PFs and BFs) with other complications receiving less attention. We examined morbidity and its impact on reoperation, length of stay (LOS), and mortality following pancreatic resection. We retrospectively reviewed patients having elective pancreatectomy at the University of Tennessee affiliated hospitals during a recent 5-year time period. Factors examined included morbidity, mortality, and the need for reoperation. Patient deaths were analyzed with a focus on antecedent complications. Comparisons were made using Student's t test and X² analysis where appropriated. From 1997 to 2003, 125 patients had pancreatic resections: 93 Whipple procedures, 27 distal, and 5 total pancreatectomies. Twenty-nine patients (23%) did not have intraperitoneal drainage (IPD). Resections were performed for cancer in 75 per cent. Seventy complications occurred in 55 patients (44%). Morbidity related to an intra-abdominal process resulted in 16 reoperations and 4/6 deaths in this series (overall mortality, 4.8%). There were no BFs. Of 10 patients with PFs (8%), none required reoperation, and there was no PF-related mortality. No patient without IPD developed a PF. The presence of a PF significantly increased LOS when compared to those without (30.9 ± 13.1 vs 17.4 ± 12.2 days, P < 0.01). Forty-four per cent of all complications were related to either intra-abdominal abscess (IAA), hemorrhage, or feeding tube placement (18, 8, and 5, respectively). Management of IAA included percutaneous drainage in 16 and reoperation in 2 with 1 associated death. Hemorrhage necessitated reoperation in 6, resulted in 1 patient death, and was followed by IAA in 2. Of 5 jejunostomy tube complications, 4 required reoperation and 2 patients died. LOS was significantly greater in these 28 patients when compared to all others (28.1...


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