Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of transanastomotic pancreatic duct internal stenting in the reduction of postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Mayo Clinic. Patients: Between January 1, 1999, and September 30, 2010, 553 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy by a single surgeon. Main Outcome Measures: Rates of POPF, morbidity, and mortality between stent and no-stent groups. Results: The clinically relevant POPF (International Study Group on Pancreatic Fistula definition grade B or C) rates in the stent and no-stent groups were similar (9.6% [43 of 449 patients] and 12.5% [13 of 104 patients], respectively; P=.38). Postoperative outcomes and morbidity were also similar between the 2 groups. Mortality was 0.7% (3 of 449 patients) for the stent group and 1.0% (1 of 104 patients) for the no-stent group. Four patients (0.9%) required endoscopic retrieval of the anastomotic stent. In subset analysis, the clinically relevant POPF rates in patients with a small pancreatic duct (≤3 mm; n=167) were similar in the stent and no-stent groups (17.7% [23 of 130 patients] and 24.3% [9 of 37 patients], respectively; P=.38). In patients with a soft pancreatic gland (n=64), rates of clinically relevant pancreatic fistulae were also similar in the stent and no-stent groups (31.7% [13 of 41 patients] and 17.4% [4 of 23 patients], respectively; P=.20). Conclusions: Internal transanastomotic pancreatic duct stenting does not decrease the frequency or severity of POPF. The effect of stenting on long-term anastomotic patency warrants further investigation.
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