Decreasing pancreatic leak after distal pancreatectomy: Saline-coupled radiofrequency ablation in a porcine model

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26 Scopus citations


Despite marked improvements in pancreatic surgery, the high incidence and morbidity of pancreatic leak after resection has remained unchanged. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of saline-coupled radiofrequency ablation (TissueLink) as an alternative to traditional methods of stump closure in an animal model of distal pancreatectomy. Forty swine were randomized after pancreatic transection and remnant stump was either oversewn in a traditional fashion (control) or treated with the device alone (TissueLink). Animals were killed and necropsied at 3 or 5 weeks postoperatively. Primary endpoints were the development of a pancreatic fistula defined as dye extravasation from the remnant duct, presence of undrained amylase-rich fluid collections/abscess, and greater than threefold drain/serum amylase after the third postoperative day. The incidence of pancreatic leak in the TissueLink group was 5.5 vs 42% in the control group (p∈=∈0.01). There were no differences in operative time or other clinical parameters measured. Histologic analysis of the remnant pancreatic stumps confirmed our results. These data support our hypothesis that saline-coupled radiofrequency ablation leads to obliteration of ducts with a resultant decrease in pancreatic leak and subsequent complications. This technology may play a substantial role in preventing this dreaded complication in the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)998-1007
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic fistula
  • Pancreatic leak
  • Saline-coupled radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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