• Over an eight-year period, 24 patients were referred following laparotomy at various community hospitals where their conditions had been diagnosed as "incurable pancreatic cancer." Seventeen of these patients' conditions were reevaluated and they underwent exploratory surgery again. In two patients, no cancer was found in spite of multiple biopsies. Nine patients underwent total pancreatectomy with no operative deaths, and two of them had localized primary ampullary cancer. Eleven of these 17 patients have survived 1½ to six years. We conclude that reoperation in selected cases in which the condition was diagnosed as "inoperable pancreatic cancer" can have an appreciable salvage rate. We suggest that pancreatic exploration with a view to resection should be performed only in specialty centers where there is interest and expertise in the problem.
(Arch Surg 114:502-504, 1979)