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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2009 August;64(4):395-406

language: Italian

Pancreaticoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head and papilla of Vater

Stipa F. 1, Alessandroni L. 2, Cimitan A. 1, Burza A. 1, Cavallotti C. 3, Cavallini M. 3, Tersigni R. 2, Ziparo V. 3

1 Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche Azienda Ospedaliera S.Giovanni-Addolorata-Britannico, Roma, Italia
2 Dipartimento di Chirurgia Generale e Specialistica Azienda Ospedaliera S.Camillo-Forlanini Roma, Italia
3 Dipartimento di Chirurgia II Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia Università La Sapienza, Roma, Italia


Aim. The authors report their consecutive experience in the surgical management of adenocarcinoma (ADC) of head of pancreas and papilla of Vater, in order to review the available literature.
Methods. One hundred and seventy cases (131 in the head of pancreas and 39 in the papilla of Vater) were operated upon for ADC by radical pancreaticoduodenectomy in the period 1972-2005. The stomach was resected in 81 patients (47.7%) and the pylorus was preserved in 89 (52.3%). Follow-up was completed in all patients.
Results. Postoperative morbidity was reported in 66 patients (38.8%) and pancreatic fistulae were observed in 39 patients (22.9%). Postoperative mortality was 9.4% (16 patients), but in the last 10 years it was reduced to 4.1% (4/97 patients). Five-year survival for pancreatic ADC was 75% in stage IA, 43.9% in stage IB and IIA, 3.2% in stage IIB. In ADC of the papilla of Vater, for the same stages, the 5-year survival rates were 54.4%, 51.4%, 0% and 37.5%, respectively. None of the III-staged patients survived at a 5-year follow-up in both groups.
Conclusion. Preoperative studies should include laparoscopy with cytological examination of peritoneal lavage, while preoperative biliary drainage is rarely indicated in case of obstructive jaundice. The Wirsung duct has to be anastomosed directly to the jejunum and the pancreatic section needs to be checked. Extended lymphadenectomy, in addition to the standard peripancreatic excision, is seldom indicated, there is no controindication to pylorus preservation and Wirsung drainage is not necessary. This operation should be performed in Centres with substantial experience.

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