Background: Delayed gastric emptying (DGE) is the most frequent postoperative complication after pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy (PPPD). This study was undertaken to determine which factors influence the development of DGE after PPPD.
Study design: We studied 150 consecutive patients who underwent PPPD performed by one surgeon between 1996 and 2000. The variables analyzed were age, gender, diagnosis, laboratory data, operative time, transfusion, preoperative cholangitis, and complications. The operative factors included were route of the afferent jejunal limb (retromesenteric versus antemesenteric), type of pancreatoenteric anastomosis, and preservation of the right gastric artery. DGE was defined as nasogastric drainage for more than 10 days or delay of regular diet until 14 days postoperatively.
Results: Univariate analysis showed preoperative cholangitis, intraabdominal complication, and the jejunal reconstruction method were significantly associated with DGE. Preservation of the right gastric artery was not associated with gastric emptying ability. Multivariate analysis by logistic regression showed that DGE was significantly more frequent among patients with preoperative cholangitis (15 of 36 [41.7%] versus 19 of 114 [16.7%], p=0.0031), postoperative intraabdominal complications (15 of 36 [41.7%] versus 10 of 114 [8.8%], p = 0.0001), and in the retromesenteric group (33 of 104 [31.7%] versus 3 of 46 [6.5%], p = 0.0174).
Conclusions: Preoperative cholangitis and postoperative leakage problems affect gastric emptying after PPPD during the early postoperative period. The retromesenteric route is not recommended for pancreato- and biliary-enteric anastomosis. We speculate that retromesenteric passage of afferent jejunum can cause venous congestion and bowel edema, which can in turn retard the recovery of jejunal peristalsis at the duodenojejunostomy site resulting in disturbance from food passage.