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The Practice of Pancreatic Resection after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

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The morbid obesity epidemic in the United States has resulted in increasing numbers of patients who have undergone Roux-en-Y gastric bypass who require surgical management of nonbariatric disorders. When pancreatic resection is indicated in bariatric patients, consideration of the altered foregut anatomy can be applied to the principles of pancreatic resection to foster effective techniques that minimize operative complications. A retrospective review and analysis of bariatric patients who underwent pancreatic resection at the Medical University of South Carolina Digestive Center over a 2-year period (2006 to 2007) was conducted to assess indications for operation, operative techniques, and postoperative outcome in patients with previous Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. There were five patients (four female, one male) identified with a mean age of 35 years (range, 32–50 years). The mean time interval from gastric bypass to pancreatic resection was 42.6 months (range, 10–72 months). Indications for pancreatic operations were islet hyperplasia in two patients, chronic pancreatitis in two, and serous cystadenoma in one. Two patients underwent duodenal-preserving pancreatic head resection (Beger procedure) and three underwent distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy. Mean length of hospital stay was 11.4 days (range, 5–22 days). Two patients had extended hospital stay as a result of gastrointestinal ileus. There was no other operative morbidity or mortality. Mean length of patient follow up was 9.8 months (range, 1–17 months). Specific operative techniques used in pancreatic head resection were duodenal preservation, pancreatic drainage with an omega loop constructed from a mid-Roux limb, and excluded stomach gastrostomy. Techniques used in pancreatic tail and body resection were splenectomy discontinuous from pancreatectomy, division of the splenic vein and artery at the pancreatic neck early in surgery, retrograde dissection of the pancreas body and tail, and dissection of the body and tail posterior to the Roux limb leaving the Roux limb intact. Pancreatic resection after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is safe and effective when using prescribed operative principles that minimize disruption of the foregut reconstruction and adds protection to the gastric remnant with a gastrostomy for decompression and access for enteral alimentation when necessary.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Department of Surgery and the Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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