Pancreatic fistula is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality after pancreaticoduodenectomy, and an external stent of pancreaticojejunostomy has been recommended to prevent pancreatic fistula.
Duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy should not require placement of an external stent.
Nonrandomized control study.
Seventy-four patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy with duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy were allocated to either the ex situ group (external pancreatic stent drainage) or the in situ group (no external drainage).
Main Outcome Measures
Operative mortality; postoperative complications, particularly pancreatic fistula; and patency of duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy.
Preoperative factors, indicated disorders, and intraoperative factors were similar for both groups. Mortality rates were 1% (1/74) overall, 3% (1 death) for the in situ group, and 0% for the ex situ group. Morbidity rates were 32% (12/37) for the in situ group and 35% (13/37) for the ex situ group. The incidence of pancreatic fistula was 5.4% and was the same for the in situ and ex situ groups. The incidence of delayed gastric emptying was similar for the in situ (19% [7/37]) and ex situ (14% [5/37]) groups. Ampullary tumors and pancreatic ducts 2 mm or less in diameter had a higher incidence of pancreatic fistula, but the incidence was similar in both treatment groups. Nasogastric tube drainage day, the median hospital stay, and pancreaticojejunostomy patency were similar in both groups.
The results were considered to show equivalent outcomes for ex situ and in situ pancreatic stenting of the duct-to-mucosa pancreaticojejunostomy after pancreaticoduodenectomy. The use of transanastomotic stents has to be selective according to the individual characteristics of each patient. We recommend their use with ampullary tumors or small ducts (≤2 mm).