Article Title

Pancreaticoduodenectomy – outcomes from an Australian institution


Background: Operative morbidity and mortality rates have improved markedly since the first single-stage pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) was performed by A. O. Whipple in 1940. There is a lack of published data regarding outcomes of PD from Australian centres. The aim of this study was primarily to establish post-operative morbidity and mortality rates of an Australian unit, and secondly, to investigate the value of preoperative investigation with endoscopic ultrasound and laparoscopy upon tumour stage and survival following PD.

Method: A retrospective analysis was conducted on consecutive patients undergoing PD at St Vincent's Hospital from 1990 to 2006. Data were collected with particular reference to preoperative investigations, including endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and staging laparoscopy, and post-operative complications. Patient survival was determined from the hospital and consultant surgeons' records and telephone interviews with the patients' general practitioners.

Results: Eighty-one patients underwent PD, of which 58 were Whipple's procedures and 23 were pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomies (PPPD). Twenty-six patients had EUS, and 22 had a staging laparoscopy before PD. The post-operative morbidity rate was 55% and included intra-abdominal collections (17%), major haemorrhage (10.7%), pancreatic anastomotic leakage (9%) and delayed gastric emptying (22%). The operative (30-day) mortality rate was 1.6%. There was no survival advantage in the EUS or the laparoscopy group.

Conclusion: EUS and laparoscopy are useful modalities in the preoperative investigation and staging of patients being considered for PD. PD is a safe procedure with acceptable complication rates when carried out in a specialist unit experienced in this operation.


peer-reviewed, pancreatic neoplasms, pancreaticoduodenectomy, post-operative complications, surgical anastomosis

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