MULTICENTER STUDY
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Frey procedure in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis: short-term results.

Pancreas 2006 November
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this multicenter study was to report the short-term results of the Frey procedure in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis.

METHODS: For the period between September 2000 and January 2005, 34 Frey procedures were performed for chronic pancreatitis in 4 university hospitals. This study includes 31 men (91%) and 3 women (9%), with a mean age of 48 +/- 6 years (range, 32-58 years). The etiology of chronic pancreatitis was chronic alcohol ingestion in 32 patients (94%) and hereditary chronic pancreatitis in 2 patients. The indications of surgery were abdominal pain in all patients, requiring opiates in 59% (n = 20) and associated with a weight loss in 79% (n = 27).

RESULTS: There was no mortality. Eleven postoperative surgical complications occurred in 7 patients (20%). Three patients had a single complication, and 4 patients had 2 complications. Pancreatic fistula occurred in 4 patients and healed under conservative management in all cases. One patient had massive bleeding from the stump of gastroduodenal artery requiring reoperation. The mean hospital stay was 16 +/- 8 days (range, 9-40 days). The mean follow-up was 15 +/- 12 months (range, 3-37 months). At the time of the last follow-up visit, the examiner judged that 19 patients (56%) have complete pain relief and 11 patients (32%) have substantial pain relief. No patient used narcotic analgesics postoperatively. Seven patients developed diabetes mellitus, requiring insulin (n = 1), oral hypoglycemic agents (n = 5), and diet adjustment (n = 1). Four patients developed exocrine insufficiency. Weight increases with a mean of 4.8 +/- 5.4 kg (range, 1-24 kg) in 27 patients (79%).

CONCLUSIONS: Frey procedure appears as a safe technique with low mortality and morbidity rates and allows effective pain relief in about 90% of patients.

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