Table of Contents
HPB Surgery
Volume 10, Issue 2, Pages 125-128

Improved Results for Resection of Periampullary Adenocarcinoma

Department of Surgery, Academic Medical Centre, Meibergdreef 9, Amsterdam 1105, AZ, The Netherlands

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Background: This study evaluates the indications for and effects of pancreaticoduodenectomy (102 patients) or total pancreatectomy (15 patients) with extensive lymph node dissection performed upon 117 patients for treatment of periampullary adenocarcinoma.

Study Design: Presenting symptoms and postoperative morbidity and mortality rates were recorded. Cumulative survival rates were evaluated in relation to origin, size, and staging of tumor. Postoperative follow-up of clinical symptons was done after one year.

Results: The postoperative mortality rate after Whipple’s operation was 8 percent (eight patients). The median survival period was 1.1 year and the overall five year survival rate was 15 percent (confidence limits, 5 to 25 percent). The five year survival rate for patients without tumor extension beyond the pancreas was 25 percent (confidence limits, 5 to 50 percent), and in patients with adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of Vater, 34 percent (confidence limits, 3 to 65 percent). The median survival rate in patients with adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of Vater was 3.3 years, which was significantly longer than in the other patients. Fifty-nine patients with distant spread could be divided into 14 patients with para-aortic lymph node metastases who had a significantly shorter survival period than 45 patients without para-aortic lymph node metastases (p=0.004). Most patients surviving more than one year were doing well, although 60 percent needed exocrine pancreatic substitution therapy.

Conclusions: Resection of periampullary carcinoma provides a better palliation and survival rate than nonoperative biliary drainage or bypass operation. An improved preoperative verification of para-aortic metastases could restrict resection to patients with a prognostic five year survival rate of more than 25 percent and a postoperative mortality rate of less than 5 percent.