A review of methods for preventing pancreatic fistula after distal pancreatectomy
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Pancreatic fistula is one of the most severe complications after pancreatic surgeries. The risk of pancreatic fistula after distal pancreatectomy is up to 60%. Effective methods to prevent pancreatic fistula are still sought. A unified definition of pancreatic fistula, which was introduced in 2005 by the International Study Group of Pancreatic Surgery (ISGPS), has allowed for an easier diagnosis and determination of fistula severity, as well as for a reliable inter-centre comparison of data. Furthermore, a number of publications point out the risk factors of pancreatic fistula, which may be classified into: patient-related risk factors, such as MBI, gender, smoking tobacco or pancreatic structure; and surgery-related risk factors, such as blood loss, prolonged surgery and non-underpinning of the major pancreatic duct. The analysis of risk factors and the use of different methods for the prevention of pancreatic fistula, including novel surgical techniques, may reduce both, the formation and severity of fistula. This will in turn lead to reduced secondary complications and mortality, as well as shorter hospital stay. We present a literature review on different strategies used to prevent pancreatic fistula. It seems, however, that multicenter, prospective, randomised studies in two large groups of patients after pancreatectomy are necessary to establish clear recommendations for the preventive management.
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