Objective: To examine the effect of selective preoperative biliary drainage (BD) on perioperative resuscitation, morbidity, and mortality in patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy. Biliary drainage prior to pancreaticoduodenectomy remains controversial. Proponents argue that it facilitates referral to high-volume tertiary centers, while detractors maintain that it increases surgical morbidity and mortality. Design: Retrospective analysis of single-institution tumor registry database. Setting: University medical center. Patients: From October 1, 2003, to May 31, 2008, 90 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for periampullary mass lesions. Main Outcome Measures: Clinicopathologic data were reviewed and analyzed among patients who did and did not receive BD for their association with perioperative outcomes. χ2 Analysis, independent-samples t tests, and Mann-Whitney U tests were used as appropriate. Results: Fifty-six patients (62%) underwent BD, and 34 (38%) did not. Intraoperative bile cultures were positive for 1 or more species of microorganisms in 88% of stented patients (35 of 40). There were no significant differences in fluid requirements, transfusion requirements, or surgery duration between patients who did and did not undergo BD. Estimated blood loss was increased in patients who received BD (625 mL vs 525 mL in patients who did not undergo BD; P=.03), while reoperation was significantly more common in nonstented patients (4% vs 15% in patients who did not undergo BD; P=.02). Intensive care unit stay, overall length of stay, pancreatic leak/abscess/fistula, infectious complications, postoperative percutaneous drainage, hospital readmission, and 30- and 90-day mortality were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Conclusions: Although preoperative biliary stents may complicate the intraoperative management and lessen the postoperative complications of patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy, only estimated blood loss and reoperation were significantly different in this cohort. Further study may reveal patient subgroups who may specifically benefit or suffer from preoperative biliary stenting. Currently, selective preoperative BD appears appropriate in the multidisciplinary management of patients with periampullary lesions.
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