Total pancreatectomy: indications, operative technique, and results
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The aims of this study were to identify the indications to perform a total pancreatectomy and to evaluate the outcome and quality of life of the patient who underwent this operation. A retrospective analysis of a prospective database, regarding all the patients who underwent total pancreatectomy from January 2006 to June 2009, was carried out. Perioperative and outcome data were analyzed in two different groups: ductal adenocarcinoma (group 1) and non-ductal adenocarcinoma (group 2). Twenty (16.9%) total pancreatectomies out of 118 pancreatic resections were performed. Seven (35.0%) patients were affected by ductal adenocarcinoma (group 1) and the remaining 13 (65.0%) by pancreatic diseases different from ductal adenocarcinoma (group 2) [8 (61.5%) intraductal pancreatic mucinous neoplasms, 2 (15.4%) well-differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas, 2 (15.4%) pancreatic metastases from renal cell cancer and, finally, 1 (7.7%) chronic pancreatitis]. Eleven patients (55%) underwent primary elective total pancreatectomy; nine (45%) had a completion pancreatectomy previous pancreaticoduodenectomy. Primary elective total pancreatectomy was significantly more frequent in group 2 than in group 1. Early and long-term postoperative results were good without significant difference between the two groups except for the disease-free survival that was significantly better in group 2. The follow-up examinations showed a good control of the apancreatic diabetes and of the exocrine insufficiency without differences between the two groups. In conclusion, currently, total pancreatectomy is a standardized and safe procedure that allows good early and late results. Its indications are increasing because of the more frequent diagnose of pancreatic disease that involved the whole gland as well as intraductal pancreatic mucinous neoplasm, neuroendocrine tumors and pancreatic metastases from renal cell cancer.