NASPGAN Paper: Surgery for Chronic Pancreatitis: Choose Your Operation and Surgeon Carefully

JD Nathan et al. JPGN 2022; 74: 706-719. Open Access: The Role of Surgical Management in Chronic Pancreatitis in Children: A Position Paper From the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Pancreas Committee

This society paper provides a terrific review of potential operations and rationale in children with chronic pancreatitis. Some of the highlights from this open access article include figures detailing the anatomical considerations of the operations (eg. Frey, Modified Puestow, TPIAT, Berger, Whipple, and Berne) and an algorithm in choosing which procedure should be considered.

Key points:

  • Surgery is indicated for children with debilitating CP who have failed maximal medical and endoscopic interventions.
  • A conventional surgical approach (eg, drainage operation, partial resection, combination drainage-resection) may be considered in the presence of significant and uniform pancreatic duct dilation or an inflammatory head mass.
  • Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation is the best surgical option in patients with small duct disease.
  • The presence of genetic risk factors often portends a suboptimal outcome following a conventional operation.

My take: Fortunately, very few children need operations for chronic pancreatitis. As such, surgical expertise/judgement is particularly important.

Figure 1

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