Background: Delayed gastric emptying (DGE) is one of the most common complications after pancreatic resection. In the literature, the reported incidence of DGE after pancreatic surgery varies considerably between different surgical centers, primarily because an internationally accepted consensus definition of DGE is not available. Several surgical centers use a different definition of DGE. Hence, a valid comparison of different study reports and operative techniques is not possible.
Methods: After a literature review on DGE after pancreatic resection, the International Study Group of Pancreatic Surgery (ISGPS) developed an objective and generally applicable definition with grades of DGE based primarily on severity and clinical impact.
Results: DGE represents the inability to return to a standard diet by the end of the first postoperative week and includes prolonged nasogastric intubation of the patient. Three different grades (A, B, and C) were defined based on the impact on the clinical course and on postoperative management.
Conclusion: The proposed definition, which includes a clinical grading of DGE, should allow objective and accurate comparison of the results of future clinical trials and will facilitate the objective evaluation of novel interventions and surgical modalities in the field of pancreatic surgery.