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HPB Surgery
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 624060, 6 pages
Research Article

The Use of Bovine Pericardial Buttress on Linear Stapler Fails to Reduce Pancreatic Fistula Incidence in a Porcine Pancreatic Transection Model

Department of Surgery, University of Alberta Hospitals, 2000 College Plaza, 8215-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2C8

Received 1 July 2011; Accepted 22 August 2011

Academic Editor: Tatsuya Kin

Copyright © 2011 A. Maciver 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.


We investigate the effectiveness of buttressing the surgical stapler to reduce postoperative pancreatic fistulae in a porcine model. As a pilot study, pigs (n=6) underwent laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy using a standard stapler. Daily drain output and lipase were measured postoperative day 5 and 14. In a second study, pancreatic transection was performed to occlude the proximal and distal duct at the pancreatic neck using a standard stapler (n=6), or stapler with bovine pericardial strip buttress (n=6). Results. In pilot study, 3/6 animals had drain lipase greater than 3x serum on day 14. In the second series, drain volumes were not significantly different between buttressed and control groups on day 5 (55.3 ± 31.6 and 29.3 ± 14.2 cc, resp.), nor on day 14 (9.5 ± 4.2 cc and 2.5 ± 0.8 cc, resp., P=0.13). Drain lipase was not statistically significant on day 5 (3,166 ± 1,433 and 6,063 ± 1,872 U/L, resp., P=0.25) or day 14 (924 ± 541 and 360 ± 250 U/L). By definition, 3/6 developed pancreatic fistula; only one (control) demonstrating a contained collection arising from the staple line. Conclusion. Buttressed stapler failed to protect against pancreatic fistula in this rigorous surgical model.