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Organ‐preserving pancreatic head resection in chronic pancreatitis. BJS 2003; 90: 29-32.

Published: 8th January 2003

Authors: G. Farkas, L. Leindler, M. Daróczi, G. Farkas


Twenty to thirty per cent of patients with chronic pancreatitis develop inflammatory enlargement of the head of the pancreas. A safe procedure has been developed for duodenum‐preserving pancreatic head resection; this report describes the preliminary results achieved.


Thirty patients, 27 men and three women of mean age 44 years, underwent surgical resection following the development of an inflammatory mass in the pancreatic head. All patients had weight loss and frequent abdominal pain. Jaundice was present in three and diabetes mellitus in ten patients. The diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis was made by a combination of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, sonography and computed tomography. Pancreatic function was assessed by amylum tolerance test (ATT), oral glucose tolerance test and stool elastase measurement. The surgical procedure involved wide local resection of the inflammatory tumour in the pancreatic head, without division of the pancreas over the portal vein. Reconstruction involved drainage via a jejunal Roux‐en‐Y loop. In three icteric cases, prepapillary bile duct anastomosis was also performed using the same jejunal loop.


There were no hospital deaths or major complications. After a median follow‐up of 10 (range 6–14) months, all patients were symptom free. The mean increase in body‐weight was 8·9 (range 4–20) kg. The ATT and stool elastase level demonstrated improved exocrine function but there was no change in endocrine function.


This type of pancreatic head resection is a safe procedure that provides good short‐term relief of symptoms associated with inflammatory changes in the head of the pancreas in chronic pancreatitis. Copyright © 2003 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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