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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8418372, 6 pages
Review Article

Surgical Treatment for Chronic Pancreatitis: Past, Present, and Future

Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Stephanie Plagemann

Received 14 March 2017; Revised 2 July 2017; Accepted 5 July 2017; Published 27 July 2017

Academic Editor: Riccardo Casadei

Copyright © 2017 Stephanie Plagemann et al. 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.


The pancreas was one of the last explored organs in the human body. The first surgical experiences were made before fully understanding the function of the gland. Surgical procedures remained less successful until the discovery of insulin, blood groups, and finally the possibility of blood donation. Throughout the centuries, the surgical approach went from radical resections to minimal resections or only drainage of the gland in comparison to an adequate resection combined with drainage procedures. Today, the well-known and standardized procedures are considered as safe due to the high experience of operating surgeons, the centering of pancreatic surgery in specialized centers, and optimized perioperative treatment. Although surgical procedures have become safer and more efficient than ever, the overall perioperative morbidity after pancreatic surgery remains high and management of postoperative complications stagnates. Current research focuses on the prevention of complications, optimizing the patient’s general condition preoperatively and finding the appropriate timing for surgical treatment.