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A Modern Review of the Operative Management of Chronic Pancreatitis

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Chronic pancreatitis is a debilitating disease resulting in pain, intestinal malabsorption, endocrine dysfunction, and poor quality of life (QoL). Our aim was to analyze surgical outcomes for patients with chronic pancreatitis. Data for patients undergoing operations for chronic pancreatitis between 1990 and 2009 were reviewed. Demographics, operative and perioperative data, and survival were catalogued. QoL was determined (Short Form 36 and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire + PAN-26) and compared with historical controls. The mean age was 51 ± 2 years, 38 patients were male (53%), the most common indication was pain (71%), the etiology of pancreatitis often was alcohol, and most patients underwent a Whipple procedure (56%). Operative time was 316 ± 17 minutes and blood loss was 363 ± 75 mL. There were 34 complications in 30 patients (42%) and one death. QoL surveys were administered for 25 of 55 (45%) surviving patients at a mean follow-up of 72 ± 16 months. Mean survival was 99 ± 9 months, whereas 5- and 10-year survival were 86 and 75 per cent. QoL scores were uniformly better than historical controls. Our data demonstrate that operations for chronic pancreatitis can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality. Patients have excellent survival and improved QoL compared with historical controls. Surgery is an effective and durable treatment option for patients with chronic pancreatitis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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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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