Objective: To review the results of the different modalities of treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis that have been used by a single team during a 6-year period to assess the technique and indications of an endoscopic method of retroperitoneal drainage that is routinely performed for the management of peripancreatic necrosis.
Design and setting: Retrospective study of 53 patients in a tertiary care center.
Results: All patients had signs of peripancreatic necrosis on initial computed tomography scan, 20 patients experienced organ failure during the first 7 days of the disease, and bacterial contamination was proved in 22 (56%) of 39 samples of peripancreatic necrosis. Methods of treatment included supportive therapy alone (group 1), percutaneous drainage (group 2), endoscopic retroperitoneal drainage (group 3), and laparotomy and transperitoneal drainage (group 4). Mortality and mean hospital stay were as follows: group 1, 0% and 23 days; group 2, 20% and 89 days; group 3, 10% and 62 days; and group 4, 33% and 86 days. Percutaneous drainage was beneficial in only 3 cases of sterile collection. Two local complications were related to the method of endoscopic drainage. Primary laparotomy was not routinely performed except in patients with an intraperitoneal complication. Overall mortality was 13.2%; mortality was significantly higher in patients with an infected necrosis (32%).
Conclusions: The use of endoscopic retroperitoneal drainage seemed to be a significant factor in the observed improvement by providing a reliable drainage of the peripancreatic areas and avoiding the opening of the peritoneal cavity. This surgical approach is not exclusive and may be combined with a secondary laparotomy when needed. The preferred indications of this method are heterogeneous collections of necrosis with bacterial contamination.