Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Total Pancreatectomy for Primary Pancreatic Neoplasms: Renaissance of an Unpopular Operation

Hartwig, Werner MD*; Gluth, Alexander MD*; Hinz, Ulf MSc*,†; Bergmann, Frank MD; Spronk, Pauline E. R. MSc*; Hackert, Thilo MD*; Werner, Jens MD*; Büchler, Markus W. MD*

doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000000791
Original Articles

Objective: To assess the long-term survival and quality of life in total pancreatectomies and to identify risk factors for perioperative morbidity and mortality.

Background: Total pancreatectomy may be required in locally advanced or centrally located pancreatic neoplasms to achieve complete tumor clearance, but available data on short- and long-term results are limited.

Methods: A total of 434 consecutive total pancreatectomies for primary pancreatic or periampullary tumors were performed between October 2001 and September 2012 at the authors' institution and were prospectively documented and analyzed. Long-term outcome was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and quality of life analysis (EORTC-QLQ-C30 and PAN26). Uni- and multivariate analysis was performed to identify perioperative risk factors and predictors for long-term survival.

Results: Extended total pancreatectomies were performed in 54% of cases, with arterial and portal vein resections in 15% and 32%, respectively. Overall 30-day and in-hospital mortality rates were 3.7% and 7.8%, respectively. High blood loss, long operative time, and arterial resections were independently associated with increased perioperative mortality (P ≤ 0.018). In malignant disease, median and 5-year survival were good for standard total pancreatectomies (28.6 months and 24.3%, respectively) and were significantly impaired after vascular resections (P < 0.001). Poor tumor grading, high American Joint Commission on Cancer tumor stage, age more than70 years, and an R1 resection were independent prognostic parameters. Long-term global quality of life was comparable with a matched healthy control group.

Conclusions: Standard total pancreatectomy, if needed, is associated with good long-term outcome in pancreatic cancer. Marked surgical morbidity and impaired survival associated with vascular resections reflect the invasiveness of extended total pancreatectomies and the underlying advanced malignant disease.

Favorable survival rates and acceptable quality of life scores demonstrate that total pancreatectomy is a justifiable operation when needed in premalignant or malignant pancreatic tumors. Relevant perioperative morbidity and mortality rates, in particular when total pancreatectomy is combined with vascular resections, illustrate that patients need to be properly selected.

*Department of General, Visceral, and Transplantation Surgery;

Division of Biostatistics; and

Institute of Pathology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Reprints: Markus W. Büchler, MD, Department of General, Visceral, and Transplantation Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. E-mail:

Presented at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Pancreatic Association, Miami, FL, October 30 to November 2, 2013.

Disclosure: The original material has not been previously published or submitted elsewhere for publication. There are no personal conflicts of interest of any of the authors.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.