Over a ten-year period 70 patients with pancreatic inflammatory disease were treated by operation. The most common causes were chronic alcoholism (39) and biliary tract disease (22); nine patients had less common causes.
Comprehensive correction of biliary tract disease gave excellent results when this was the underlying cause. In contrast, in the alcoholic there was a high incidence of intrinsic pancreatic duct obstruction due to stricture. Retrograde decompression of the exocrine pancreas afforded relief of pain; however, the improvement was often temporary because a high proportion of these patients continued to drink excessively.