Objective: To outline our experience with hepatopancreatoduodenectomy (HPD) as a treatment for cholangiocarcinoma and to appraise the clinical significance of this challenging procedure.
Background: Cholangiocarcinomas often exhibit an extensive ductal spread invading from the hepatic hilus to the lower bile duct, and such tumors can be completely resected only by HPD. Early experiences with HPD were associated with high mortality and morbidity, leading to an underestimation of the survival benefit of HPD.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 85 patients with cholangiocarcinoma who underwent HPD from 1992 to 2011. Major hepatectomy was performed in 79 patients (92.9%), and combined vascular resection was performed in 26 patients (30.6%).
Results: The operating time was 762 ± 141 minutes, and blood loss was 2696 ± 1970 mL. Liver failure was the most common abdominal complication (n = 64), followed by pancreatic fistula (n = 60), wound sepsis (n = 33), intra-abdominal abscess (n = 22), refractory ascites (n = 17), bacteremia (n = 16), bile leakage (n = 13), and delayed gastric emptying (n = 12). Re-laparotomy was necessary in 9 cases (11.1%). Overall, 19 patients (22.4%) exhibited Clavien grade 0 to II complications, 58 (68.2%) exhibited grade III, 6 (7.1%) exhibited grade IV, and 2 (2.4%) exhibited grade V (mortality). The overall survival rate for the 85 patients was 79.7% after 1 year, 48.5% after 3 years, 37.4% after 5 years, and 32.1% after 10 years; 9 (10.5%) patients survived for more than 5 years. The rate of survival for the 53 patients with pM0 disease who underwent R0 resection was the most favorable, with 5- and 10-year survival rates of 54.3% and 46.6%, respectively.
Conclusions: HPD is technically demanding and is associated with high morbidity. However, this surgery can be performed with low mortality and offers a better probability of long-term survival in selected patients. As hepatobiliary surgeons, we should consider HPD to be a standard procedure for laterally advanced cholangiocarcinomas that are otherwise unresectable.