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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2015, Article ID 503109, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/503109
Review Article

Surgical Approaches to Chronic Pancreatitis

Department of Surgery, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Ismaninger Straße 22, 81675 Munich, Germany

Received 23 January 2015; Accepted 15 April 2015

Academic Editor: Dejan Radenkovic

Copyright © 2015 Daniel Hartmann and Helmut Friess. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive inflammatory disease resulting in permanent structural damage of the pancreas. It is mainly characterized by recurring epigastric pain and pancreatic insufficiency. In addition, progression of the disease might lead to additional complications, such as pseudocyst formation or development of pancreatic cancer. The medical and surgical treatment of chronic pancreatitis has changed significantly in the past decades. With regard to surgical management, pancreatic head resection has been shown to be a mainstay in the treatment of severe chronic pancreatitis because the pancreatic head mass is known to trigger the chronic inflammatory process. Over the years, organ-preserving procedures, such as the duodenum-preserving pancreatic head resection and the pylorus-preserving Whipple, have become the surgical standard and have led to major improvements in pain relief, preservation of pancreatic function, and quality of life of patients.