The rate of postoperative pancreatic fistula after distal pancreatectomy is independent of the pancreatic stump closure technique – A retrospective analysis of 284 cases
Summary Background Many techniques have been developed to prevent postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) after distal pancreatectomy, but POPF rates remain high. The aim of our study was to analyze POPF occurrence after closure of the pancreatic remnant by different operative techniques. Methods Between 2006 and 2017, 284 patients underwent distal pancreatectomy in our institution. For subgroup analysis the patients were divided into hand-sewn (n = 201) and stapler closure (n = 52) groups. The hand-sewn closure was performed in three different ways (fishmouth-technique, n = 27; interrupted transpancreatic U-suture technique, n = 77; common interrupted suture, n = 97). All other techniques were summarized in a separate group (n = 31). Results were gained by analysis of our prospective pancreatic database. Results The median age was 63 (range 23–88) years. 74 of 284 patients (26%) were operated with spleen preservation (similar rates in subgroups). ASA-classes, median BMI as well as frequencies of malignant diseases, chronic pancreatitis, alcohol and nicotine abuse were also comparable in the subgroups. Neither the rates of overall POPF (fishmouth-technique 30%, common interrupted suture 40%, stapler closure 33% and interrupted U-suture 38%) nor the rates of POPF grades B and C showed significant differences in the subgroups. However is shown to be associated with pancreatic function and parenchymal texture. Conclusion In our experience the technique of pancreatic stump closure after distal resection did not influence postoperative pancreatic fistula rate. As a consequence patient specific reasons rather than surgical techniques may be responsible for POPF formation after distal pancreatectomy.