The etiology of pain in chronic pancreatitis may be ductal hypertension, increased parenchymal pressure, or neural damage. It is difficult to assess the severity of pain in this patient population, a problem made more challenging by the frequency of narcotic dependency. Therapeutic interventions developed to relieve the pain of chronic pancreatitis include denervation of the pancreas, decompression of the main duct of the pancreas, resection of part or all of the diseased pancreas, and reduction of pancreatic secretion. Operative intervention for patients with chronic pain is indicated when severe pain, complications of pain, or potential malignancy are present. The operations that consistently provide long-lasting pain relief all have in common resection of all or a portion of the head of the pancreas. Adverse effects on exocrine and endocrine function, nutrition, and quality of life are related to the amount of pancreas resected. The ideal procedure should be easy to perform, have a low morbidity and mortality rate, provide long-lasting pain relief, and not augment endocrine and exocrine insufficiency. No single operation fulfills this ideal. The local resection of the head of the pancreas combined with longitudinal pancreaticojejunostomy (LR-LPJ) proposed by Frey and the duodenum-preserving resection of the head of the pancreas (DPHR) proposed by Beger are discussed. The conceptualization, development, and technique of LR-LPJ are discussed, and comparisons of patient outcomes are made with the outcomes of other procedures for chronic pancreatitis.
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