External pancreatic fistulas resistant to medical treatment are an indication for surgery. Over the period from May 1986 to March 1999, we operated on 17 patients suffering from a stabilized external pancreatic fistula as a result of surgical treatment for severe acute pancreatitis in 12 cases, chronic pancreatitis in 3, duodenopancreatectomy in 1, and islet cell tumor enucleation in 1. The surgical repair consisted of precise identification of the fistula tract around the drainage tube and its anastomosis with a Roux-en-Y jejunal loop (fistulojejunostomy). The surgical mortality was nil, and the postoperative outcome was uneventful in 12 patients. Four patients experienced surgical complications, all of which were treated conservatively. After a median follow-up of 93 months, 14 patients are still alive and healthy, 1 had died of neoplastic cachexia, and 2 were lost to follow-up. In our experience, fistulojejunostomy appears to be safe, easy to perform, and curative. Copyright (C) 2000 Excerpta Medica Inc.
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