Objectives: Delayed gastric emptying (DGE) has been specifically attributed to pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy (PPPD). As PPPD has been shown to be comparable with the classic Kausch-Whipple pancreaticoduodenectomy (KWPD) in terms of oncological radicality, DGE has advanced to be the leading argument for hemigastrectomy in PD.
Methods: A prospective, nonrandomized comparison of patients undergoing PPPD (n = 113), KWPD (n = 19), and duodenum-preserving, pancreatic head resection (DPPHR, n = 18) for various diseases was performed. First, groups were analyzed with regard to structural similarity; then, they were compared with special emphasis on DGE and other postoperative complications. Finally, further prognostic factors were sought that had an impact on DGE.
Results: The PPPD group was comparable with the KWPD group, but not to the DPPHR population. The in-clinic course after DPPHR compared favorably with PPPD as well as KWPD, and, here, no DGE occurred. The overall morbidity rates of PPPD and KWPD were comparable; 1 patient died in hospital (mortality rate, 0.7%). The gastric tube after PPPD and KWPD could be withdrawn at a median of 2 and 3 days, respectively, a liquid diet was started after 4 and 5 days, respectively, and a full diet was tolerated after 10 days each (n.s.). DGE was distributed evenly among PPPD (12%) and KWPD patients (21%, n.s.), and it was noted almost exclusively when other postoperative complications were present (P < 0.0001). No further prognostic factors influencing DGE could be identified.
Conclusion: Pylorus preservation does not increase the frequency of DGE. DGE almost exclusively occurs as a consequence of other postoperative complications. Therefore, DGE should not be used as an argument to advocate hemigastrectomy in PPPD.