Pancreaticoduodenectomy after placement of endobiliary metal stents

John T. Mullen, Jeffrey H. Lee, Henry F. Gomez, William A. Ross, Norio Fukami, Robert A. Wolff, Eddie K. Abdalla, Jean Nicolas Vauthey, Jeffrey E. Lee, Peter W.T. Pisters, Douglas B. Evans

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96 Scopus citations


Contemporary treatment programs for patients with potentially resectable pancreatic cancer often involve preoperative therapy. When the duration of preoperative therapy exceeds 2 months, the risk of plastic endobiliary stent occlusion increases. Metal stents have much better patency but may complicate subsequent pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). We evaluated rates of perioperative morbidity, mortality, and stent complications in 272 consecutive patients who underwent PD at our institution from May 2001 to November 2004. Of these 272 patients, 29 (11%) underwent PD after placement of a metal stent, 141 underwent PD after placement of a plastic stent, 10 had PD after biliary bypass without stenting, and 92 had PD without any form of biliary decompression. No differences were found between the Metal Stent group and all other patients in median operative time, intraoperative blood loss, or length of hospital stay. No perioperative deaths occurred in the Metal Stent group versus 3 (1.2%) deaths in the other 243 patients. The incidence of major perioperative complications was similar between the two groups, including the rates of pancreatic fistula, intra-abdominal abscess, and wound infection. Furthermore, there were no differences in the perioperative morbidity or mortality rates between patients who underwent preoperative biliary decompression with a stent of any kind (metal or plastic) and those patients who underwent no biliary decompression at all. Metal stent-related complications occurred in 2 (7%) of 29 patients during a median preoperative interval of 4.1 months; in contrast, 75 (45%) of the 166 patients who had had plastic stents experienced complications, including 98 stent occlusions, during a median preoperative interval of 3.9 months (P < 0.001). We conclude that the use of expandable metal stents does not increase PD-associated perioperative morbidity or mortality, and as such an expandable metal stent is our preferred method of biliary decompression in patients with symptomatic malignant distal bile duct obstruction in whom surgery is not anticipated, or in whom there is a significant delay in the time to surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1105
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • Biliary decompression
  • Metal stent
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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