The Role of Pancreaticoduodenectomy in the Management of Traumatic Injuries to the Pancreas and Duodenum

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Pancreaticoduodenectomy has been decried as a means of managing combined pancreatic and duodenal trauma. In order to test this harsh assessment, we have reviewed our experience with this procedure in this setting. Six young males with a mean injury severity score of 15.4 underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for trauma. Four patients sustained penetrating trauma and two patients suffered blunt injuries; each was felt by clinical assessment to have pancreatic ductal disruption combined with significant duodenal injury. Four patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy primarily, while two patients underwent initial drainage and diverticulization. The four patients undergoing immediate resection had a mean hospital stay of 28 days (18-42 days) and did not require further surgical intervention. All are alive and well six months to nine years later. The two patients with drainage and repair of their injuries had a mean hospital stay of 115 days (84-147 days) and required additional laparotomies for pancreatic leaks, enterocutaneous fistulae, or drainage of abscesses. Pancreaticoduodenectomy was ultimately performed in each case, and both have survived. Pancreaticoduodenectomy continues to have a role in the management of combined pancreatic and duodenal injuries.

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