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The Impact of Regionalization of Pancreaticoduodenectomy for Pancreatic Cancer in North Carolina since 2004

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Pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) carries a significant risk. High-volume centers (HVCs) provide improved outcomes and regionalization is advocated. Rapid regionalization could, however, have detrimental effects. North Carolina has multiple HVCs, including an additional HVC added in late 2006. We investigated regionalization of PD and its effects before, and after, the establishment of this fourth HVC. The North Carolina Hospital Discharge Database was queried for all PDs performed during 2004 to 2006 and 2007 to 2009. Hospitals were categorized by PD volume as: low (one to nine/year), medium (10 to 19/year), and high (20/year or more). Mortality and major morbidity was assessed by comparing volume groups across time periods. Number of PDs for cancer increased 91 per cent (129 to 246 cases) at HVCs, whereas decreasing at low-volume (62 to 58 cases) and medium-volume (80 to 46 cases) centers. Percentage of PD for cancer performed at HVCs increased significantly (47.6 to 70.3%) while decreasing for low- and medium-volume centers (P < 0.001). Mortality was significantly less at HVCs (2.8%) compared with low-volume centers (10.3%) for 2007 to 2009. Odds ratio for mortality was significantly lower at HVCs during 2004 to 2006 (0.31) and 2007 to 2009 (0.34). Mortality for PD performed for cancer decreased from 6.6 to 4.6 per cent (P = 0.31). Major morbidity was not significantly different between groups within either time period; however, there was a significant increase in major morbidity at low-volume centers (P = 0.018). Regionalization of PD for cancer is occurring in North Carolina. Mortality was significantly lower at HVCs, and rapid regionalization has not detracted from the superior outcomes at HVCs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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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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