Postoperative Outcomes of Elective Pancreatic Surgery in a Low-Volume Academic Surgical Clinic

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According to the volume-outcome concept the postoperative outcome after major pancreatic surgery in high-volume institutions compares favorably to low- volume centers. However, it is not clear whether this is applicable to all low-volume institutions nowadays. The aim of the study was to evaluate the postoperative outcome after major elective pancreatic surgery in a low- volume academic surgical clinic. All consecutive elective major pancreatic cases operated within a 10-year period till October 2013 have been retrospectively reviewed. During the studied period, 36 patients (15 females, 21 males, mean age 54 years, age range 37-76) were scheduled for elective pancreatic surgery and underwent pancreatic resection (n=31, 18 proximal and 13 distal pancreatic resections) or complete pancreatic duct drainage procedure (n=5). Eleven patients had chronic pancreatitis and 25 patients had malignant or benign tumors. Vascular or adjacent organ resection was performed in 9 patients (29% of resections). The overall postoperative morbidity was 36% (n=13), and complications requiring re-operation occurred in 5 patients (14%). The median postoperative hospital stay was 11 days for patients without complications vs. 25 days for patients with any complication. There was no 60- day postoperative mortality or hospital readmission. Major elective pancreatic surgery can be safely performed today in a low-volume academic general surgical clinic, with postoperative outcomes similar to those reported by high-volume centers.

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