What to expect with major vascular reconstruction during Whipple procedures: A single institution experience and literature review

Matthew S. Jorgensen, Tariq Almerey, Houssam Farres, W. Andrew Oldenburg, John Stauffer, Albert G. Hakaim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Major vascular reconstruction during a pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), also known as a Whipple procedure, leads to controversial postoperative outcomes compared to conventional Whipple. Discussion with the patient regarding postoperative expectations is a crucial component of holistic surgical healthcare. The aim of this study was to report our 8-year experience of Whipple procedures involving vascular reconstruction and to review relevant literature to further evaluate expectant outcomes, therefore leading to more accurate discussion. Methods: A retrospective review of patients undergoing Whipple procedures from January 2010, through December 2017 was performed. Patch, graft, and primary anastomosis during Whipple procedures were considered major vascular reconstruction. Literature on the current understanding of the outcomes associated with vascular reconstruction during Whipple procedures was reviewed. Results: Twenty-nine from a total of 405 patients that met inclusion criteria had a Whipple procedure that involved major vascular reconstruction. Twelve patients were male and 17 were female (mean age, 65.2 years). Median hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) stay [range] of patients with vascular reconstruction was 12 [5–92] days and 3 [0–59] days, respectively. Thirty-day survival and 1-year survival of patients with vascular reconstruction was 93.1% and 55.2%, respectively, compared to non-vascular reconstruction patients 96.0% and 83.5%, respectively (P=0.35, P<0.001). Ninety-day readmission for vascular reconstruction patients was 31.0% compared to 14.6% in non-vascular reconstruction patients (P=0.03). The 1-year survival of those who had patch reconstruction, graft reconstruction, and primary anastomosis was 50.0%, 62.5%, 53.8%, respectively. Conclusions: Compared to conventional Whipple procedures, those requiring major vascular reconstruction are associated with decreased survival. When vascular reconstruction is a valid option patients should be well aware of the associated outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Survival
  • Vascular reconstruction
  • Whipple

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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