Staging laparoscopy in patients scheduled for pancreaticoduodenectomy minimizes hospitalization in the remaining life time when metastatic carcinoma is found

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2014 Aug;40(8):989-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2013.12.019. Epub 2014 Feb 8.


Objective: To compare the burden of total hospitalization as a ratio of survival of staging laparoscopy versus prophylactic bypass surgery in patients with unresectable periampullary adenocarcinoma.

Background: Periampullary adenocarcinoma is an aggressive cancer with up to 35% of the patients at surgery found to be unresectable. Palliative prophylactic surgical bypass versus endoscopic stenting has been addressed by randomized controlled trials, but none reported on the burden of hospitalization.

Methods: From a prospective database all patients with periampullary adenocarcinomas with a preoperative patent biliary stent and absent gastric outlet obstruction, but found unresectable during surgery, were analysed. They underwent a staging laparoscopy only versus prophylactic palliative bypass surgery. In-hospital days of the initial admission as well as all consecutive admission days during the remaining life span were compared both in absolute numbers and as relative impact.

Results: The inclusion criteria were met by 205 patients. Of these 131 patients underwent a staging laparoscopy detecting metastases in 21 patients. In 184 laparotomies 54 patients underwent prophylactic palliative bypass surgery for unresectable disease. Median total in-hospital-stay in the Laparoscopy Group was 3 days versus 11 days in the Palliative Bypass Group (p = 0.0003). Patients with metastatic disease found during laparoscopy stayed 3.5% of the remaining life time in hospital vs. 10.0% (p = 0.029) in patients with metastatic disease who underwent bypass surgery.

Conclusions: Staging laparoscopy and early discharge in patients with metastatic peri-ampullary carcinoma resulted in reduced hospitalization, both in absolute number of days and as a rate of survival time.

Keywords: Gastric outlet obstruction; Jaundice; Palliative surgery; Pancreatic cancer; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality*
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ampulla of Vater*
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms / pathology
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis