Complications requiring reoperation following pancreatectomy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International Journal of Pancreatology






Complications; Hemorrhage; Pancreatic leak; Pancreatic resection; Reoperation


Conclusions. In this series, the overall reoperative rate following pancreatic surgery is 9%. Complications following pancreatectomy that require reoperation fall into four categories: Hemorrhage, infectious, delayed gastric emptying, and anastomotic leak. A delay in the management of these types of complications can be fatal. Background. Despite the improvement in the morbidity and mortality rates associated with pancreatic resection, complications still arise that require surgical intervention. This study reviews the pancreatic surgical experience at a major medical center to determine the overall reoperative complication rate. Study Design. From 1985 to 1995, 107 patients underwent pancreatic resection. There were 50 pancreaticoduodenectomies, 20 total pancreatectomies, and 37 distal pancreatectomies for 102 periampullary or pancreatic cancers and five for chronic pancreatitis. The operative mortality rate was 6.5% and the morbidity rate was 43%. Ten patients (9%) developed complications that required reoperation: Results. Re-exploration was performed in five patients for hemorrhage. Four patients had bleeding intraabdominally and one had a suture line bleed. One patient developed a wound infection and fascial necrosis which necessitated reoperation. Three patients were explored for sepsis and one was found to have a pancreatic leak. One patient had persistent gastric outlet obstruction and he required conversion of the gastrojejunostomy to a Roux-en-y anastomosis. The mortality rate for re-exploration was 3/10 (30%).

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