Surgical approaches to chronic pancreatitis

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2008;22(1):167-81. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2007.10.015.


Chronic pancreatitis (CP), a benign, inflammatory process of the pancreas, can cause severe pain, diabetes mellitus, steatorrhoea, and weight loss and often leads to a significant reduction in the quality of life. In the past decade our knowledge of the pathophysiology of CP has increased together with the number and quality of treatment options available for this disease. In addition to pharmacological and endoscopic treatment modalities, surgical drainage and resection procedures have become increasingly important since they have the potential to provide superior long-term results in patients with CP. The classical and pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy, once the standard operations for patients with CP, have been replaced by organ-sparing procedures like the duodenum preserving pancreatic head resection and its variants. The latter allow better preservation of the exocrine and endocrine pancreatic function, and provide adequate pain relieve and improvement in the quality of life of CP patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drainage / methods
  • Humans
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy* / methods
  • Pancreaticojejunostomy* / methods
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome