Background Hepaticojejunostomy is routinely performed in patients when inoperable disease is found at planned pancreatoduodenectomy; however, in the presence of self-expanding metal stent (SEMS) hepaticojejunostomy may not be required. The aim of this study was to assess biliary complications and outcomes in patients with unresectable disease at time of planned pancreaticoduodenectomy stratified by the management of the biliary tract. Material and methods Retrospective analysis of patients undergoing surgery in January 2010–December 2015. Complications were measured using the Clavien–Dindo scale. Results Of 149 patients, 111 (75%) received gastrojejunostomy and hepaticojejunostomy (double bypass group) and 38 (26%) received a single bypass in the presence of SEMS (single bypass group). Post-operative non-biliary [7 (18%) vs 43 (38%), (p = 0.028)] and biliary [0% vs 12 (11%), (p = 0.037)] complications were lower in the single bypass group. Hospital readmissions were significantly higher in the double bypass group (p = 0.021). Overall survival and the time to start chemotherapy were equivalent (p = n.s.). Conclusions Complications are more common following double bypass compared to single bypass with SEMS suggesting that gastric bypass is adequate surgical palliation in presence of SEMS. This study adds further evidence that preoperative SEMS should be used in preference to plastic stents for suspected periampullary malignancy.
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