• We evaluated the effectiveness of treatment protocols for pancreatic and duodenal injuries according to the severity of injury. Of 81 patients, 65 survived initial injury. Pancreatic injuries without ductal involvement occurred in 21 patients and were treated by drainage. No late deaths occurred. Pancreatic injuries with ductal disruption occurred in 18 patients and were treated by pancreatic resection. Abscesses developed in seven (39%) of the patients, but no late deaths occurred. Nineteen patients had duodenal injuries without pancreatic injury, and no duodenal complications occurred. Simple closure sufficed for injuries affecting up to 40% of the duodenal circumference. Wounds affecting up to 40% of the duodenal circumference can be treated by suture closure alone. Adjunctive duodenal tube decompression should be reserved for wounds affecting greater than 40% of the duodenal circumference, closure under tension, and associated injuries to the head of the pancreas. Pyloric exclusion was rarely necessary in our patients.
(Arch Surg. 1990;125:1539-1541)