Background: After pancreaticoduodenectomy, the incidence of postoperative pancreatic fistula remains high, especially in patients with "soft" pancreatic tissue remnants. No "gold standard" surgical technique for pancreaticoenteric anastomosis has been established. This study aimed to compare the postoperative morbidity and mortality of pancreaticogastrostomy and pancreaticojejunostomy for "soft" pancreatic tissue remnants using modified mattress sutures.
Methods: Seventy-five patients who had undergone pancreaticogastrostomy and 75 who had undergone pancreaticojejunostomy after pancreaticoduodenectomy between 2002 and 2008 were retrospectively compared using matched-pair analysis. A modified mattress suture technique was used for the pancreaticoenteric anastomosis. Patients with an underlying "hard" pancreatic tissue remnant, as in chronic pancreatitis, were excluded. Both groups were homogeneous for age, gender, and underlying disease. Postoperative morbidity, mortality, and preoperative and operative data were analyzed.
Results: There were no significant differences between the groups for the incidence of postoperative pancreatic fistula (10.7% in both). Postoperative morbidity and mortality, median operation time, median length of hospital stay, intraoperative blood loss, and the amount of intraoperatively transfused erythrocyte concentrates also did not significantly differ between the groups. Patient age >65 years (P=0.017), operation time >350 minutes (P=0.001), and intraoperative transfusion of erythrocyte concentrates (P=0.038) were identified as risk factors for postoperative morbidity.
Conclusions: Our results showed no significant differences between the groups in the pancreaticogastrostomy and pancreaticojejunostomy anastomosis techniques using mattress sutures for "soft" pancreatic tissue remnants. In our experience, the mattress sutures are safe and simple to use, and pancreaticogastrostomy in particular is feasible and easy to learn, with good endoscopic accessibility to the anastomosis region. However, the location of the anastomosis and the surgical technique need to be individually evaluated to further reduce the incidence of postoperative pancreatic fistula.