Prospective trial of a blood supply-based technique of pancreaticojejunostomy: Effect on anastomotic failure in the Whipple procedure

Steven M. Strasberg, Jeffrey A. Drebin, Nahush A. Mokadam, Douglas W. Green, Karen L. Jones, Justis P. Ehlers, David Linehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Anastomotic failure at the pancreaticojejunostomy after a Whipple procedure, manifested either as a pancreatic fistula or intraabdominal abscess, is still an unacceptably common post-operative complication. STUDY DESIGN: A prospectively collected series of 123 patients underwent a Whipple procedure. During the pancreaticojejunostomy, the blood supply at the cut surface of the pancreas was evaluated, and if deemed inadequate, the pancreas was cut back 1.5 to 2.0 cm to improve the blood supply. The anastomosis was performed under magnification with meticulous technique. RESULTS: There were 123 Whipple procedures performed. In 47 (38%), the blood supply was considered inadequate and the pancreas was cut back. Postoperatively, there were 2 pancreatic fistulas (1.6%) and 2 intraabdominal abscesses (1.6%). There was 1 (0.8%) postoperative death from aspiration pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: Pancreatic fistula, the most serious complication of the Whipple procedure, can be almost entirely eliminated by a technique that combines meticulous attention to placement and tying of sutures under magnification with optimization of blood supply to the anastomosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-758
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume194
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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