Introduction: Open surgery for pancreatic necrosis is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. We report the results of a recently developed minimally invasive technique that we adopted in 1998.
Methods: A descriptive explanation of the approach is given together with the results of a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent a minimally invasive retroperitoneal pancreatic necrosectomy (MIRP) between August 1998 and April 2002.
Patients: There were 24 patients with a median (range) age of 61 (29-75) years. The initial median (range) APACHE II score was 8 (2-21). All patients had infected pancreatic necrosis with at least 50% pancreatic necrosis. In three patients it was not possible to complete the first MIRP because of technical reasons.
Results: A total of 88 procedures were performed with a median (range) of 4 (0-8) per patient. Twenty-one (88%) patients developed 36 complications during the course of their illness. Five patients required an additional open procedure: 2 for subsequent distant collections, 2 for bleeding and 1 for persisting sepsis and a distant abscess. Six (25%) patients who had MIRP died. The median (range) post-operative hospital stay was 51 (5-200) days.
Conclusions: MIRP is a new technique that has shown promising results, and could be preferable to open pancreatic necrosectomy in selected patients. However, unresolved issues remain to be overcome and the exact role of MIRP in the management of pancreatic necrosis has yet to be defined.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel