Background: Diabetes after total pancreatectomy is commonly described as 'brittle' with most series reporting outcomes after resection for pancreatitis alone. The aim of this study was to determine glycaemic control in patients resected for benign and malignant disease.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of all patients undergoing total pancreatectomy (1989-2003) from a single institution was done. Data of diabetic control were obtained from case notes, general practitioners and telephonic consultation. Comparison was made against a matched type 1 diabetic population.
Results: Forty-seven patients with a median age of 59 years (range 17-85 years) and median follow-up of 50 months (range 5-136 months) were identified. Thirty-five underwent primary resection with 11 receiving completion procedures. Thirty were for malignancy (19 deceased) and 17 for benign/indeterminate histology (2 deceased). Thirty-three patients were available for detailed follow-up. There was no significant difference between median HbA(1c) of the study group and the control (8.2% versus 8.1%). The majority of patients reported diabetic control and daily performance as excellent or good. Resection for pancreatitis gave poorer subjective control (p < 0.05) than those resected for malignancy. Two patients required in-patient treatment for diabetic complications, with no deaths related to diabetes observed.
Conclusion: Diabetes after total pancreatectomy is not necessarily associated with poor glycaemic control and in the majority results in equivalent biochemical control compared to a normal type 1 diabetic population.