Use of prosthetic grafts for reconstruction after portal vein (PV) resection during pancreaticoduodenectomy is controversial. We examined outcomes in patients who underwent vein reconstruction using polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Review of prospectively maintained databases at 3 centers identified all patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) with vein resection and reconstruction using PTFE grafts between 1994 and 2009. Patient, operative, and outcomes variables were studied. Graft patency and survival were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier technique.
Thirty-three patients underwent segmental vein resection with interposition PTFE graft reconstruction. Median age was 67 years; median Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score was 1. Most operations were performed for pancreatic adenocarcinoma (n = 28, 85%); 96% were T3 lesions or greater. Standard PD was performed in 12 (36%) patients, pylorus-preservation in 17 (52%), and total pancreatectomy in 4 (12%). Combined resection of portal and superior mesenteric veins (SMV) was required in 49%, with resection isolated to PV in 12% and SMV in 39%. Splenic vein ligation was necessary in 30%. Median graft diameter was 12 mm (range 8 to 20 mm), with the majority being ring-enforced (73%). Median operative and vascular clamp times were 463 and 41 minutes, respectively, with median blood loss of 1,500 mL. The negative margin rate was 64%. Overall morbidity rate was 46%, and 30-day mortality was 6%. No patients developed irreversible hepatic necrosis or graft infection. Pancreatic fistulas occurred in 3 (9.1%). With mean follow-up of 14 months, overall graft patency was 76%. Estimated median duration of graft patency was 21 months. Median survival was 12 months for pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
With careful patient selection, PTFE graft reconstruction of resected PV/SMV during pancreaticoduodenectomy is possible with minimal risk of hepatic necrosis or graft infection. Comparison studies to primary anastomosis and autologous vein reconstruction are necessary.