Background: Pancreatic resections for benign diseases may lead to long-term endocrine/exocrine impairment. The aim of this study was to compare postoperative and long-term results after different pancreatic resections for benign disease. Methods: Between 1990 and 1999, 62 patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), 36 atypical resection (AR) and 64 left pancreatectomy (LP) for benign tumours. Exocrine and endocrine pancreatic function was evaluated by 72-h faecal chymotrypsin and oral glucose tolerance test. Results: The incidence of pancreatic fistula was significantly higher after AR than after LP (11 of 36 versus seven of 64; P = 0.028). The long-term incidence of endocrine pancreatic insufficiency was significantly lower after AR than after PD (P <0.001). Exocrine insufficiency was more common after PD (P <0.001) and LP (P = 0.009) than after AR. The probability of developing both endocrine and exocrine insufficiency was higher for PD and LP than for AR (32, 27 and 3 per cent respectively at 1 year; 58, 29 and 3 per cent at 5 years; P <0.001). Conclusion: Different pancreatic resections are associated with different risks of developing long-term pancreatic insufficiency. AR represents the best option in terms of long-term endocrine and exocrine function, although it is associated with more postoperative complications.
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