Long-term results of side-to-side pancreaticojejunostomy

H B Greenlee, R A Prinz, G V Aranha
World Journal of Surgery 1990, 14 (1): 70-6
Chronic alcoholism is the etiologic factor initiating most instances of chronic pancreatitis and its complications in the United States of America. The goal of operative intervention is to relieve incapacitating abdominal and back pain, while preserving as much endocrine and exocrine function as possible. Ultrasound and computed tomography scans are helpful for the identification of gross anatomical changes in the pancreas, but endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is critical for the precise delineation of pancreatic ductal anatomy. In patients who exhibit dilation of the pancreatic duct secondary to single or multiple sites of obstruction, pancreatic ductal drainage will provide complete or significant relief of pain in greater than 80% of patients. Side-to-side pancreaticojejunostomy has evolved as the operation which permits the widest drainage of the entire pancreatic ductal system. Although, initially, it was hoped that pancreatic exocrine and endocrine function would improve or stabilize after pancreatic ductal drainage, follow-up studies show that the destructive process in the pancreatic islets and acinar cells initiated by chronic alcoholism continues during the years after operation with an increasing incidence of diabetes and steatorrhea. Late mortality is primarily related to continued alcoholism and death secondary to alcohol-(and-smoking-) associated diseases. Correction of coexistent complications secondary to chronic pancreatitis including pseudocyst and biliary and/or duodenal obstruction should be considered at the time of pancreatic ductal drainage.

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