Friend or foe? Feeding tube placement at the time of pancreatoduodenectomy: propensity score case-matched analysis

Mazhar Soufi, Mohammed Al-Temimi, Trang K. Nguyen, Michael G. House, Nicholas J. Zyromski, C. Max Schmidt, Attila Nakeeb, Eugene P. Ceppa

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Background: The role of concomitant gastrostomy or jejunostomy feeding tube (FT) placement during pancreatoduodenectomy (PD) and its impact on patient outcomes remain controversial. Methods: NSQIP database was surveyed for patients undergoing PD between 2014 and 2017. FT placement was identified using CPT codes. Propensity scores were used to match the two groups (1:1) on baseline characteristics and intraoperative variables including pancreas specific ones (duct size, gland texture, underlying disease, wound class, use of wound protector, drain placement, type of pancreatic reconstruction and vascular reconstruction). Outcomes were compared. Finally, a subset analyses for patients with delayed gastric emptying (DGE) or postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) were performed. Results: Out of 15,224 PD, 1,104 (7.5%) had FT. POPF and DGE rates were 17% and 18%, respectively, for the entire cohort. Feeding jejunostomy was the most placed FT (88.2%). Patients with FT placement were more likely to be older (mean, 65.8 vs. 64.6 y), smokers (22.6% vs. 17.8%) who had preoperative weight loss (22.5% vs. 15.3%), ASA class ≥ 3 (80.8% vs. 77.5%), preoperative transfusion (1.5% vs. 0.84%), chemotherapy (22.8% vs. 17.5%), and radiation (14.5% vs. 6.8%, p < 0.05). The matched cohort included 880 patients in each group with completely balanced preoperative and intraoperative characteristics. In the matched cohort, patients with FT placement had higher overall morbidity (52.2% vs. 44.3%, p = 0.001), major morbidity (28.4% vs. 22.5%, p = 0.004), organ/space infection (14.4% vs. 10.9%, p = 0.026), re-operation (8.6% vs. 5.1%, p = 0.003), DGE (26.8% vs. 16.4%, p < 0.001), and longer mean hospital length of stay (12.9 vs. 11.2 days, p = 0.001) than those without FT. There was no difference in mortality (1.7% vs. 2.2%, p = 0.488) or readmission rate (20.2% vs. 17.2%, p = 0.099). In patients with DGE and POPF, FT placement was not associated with morbidity, mortality, length of stay, or readmission rate (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Patients with FT placement during PD tend to have higher postoperative morbidity and delayed recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2994-3000
Number of pages7
JournalSurgical endoscopy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Feeding
  • Feeding tube
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Whipple


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