During 1990 to 1997 a series of 39 patients underwent a classic pancreaticoduodenectomy and 74 a pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The two groups had similar tumor characteristics and received comparable adjuvant treatments. No significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of mortality, morbidity, gastric emptying, food intake resumption, and hospital stay. Postoperative survival was not affected by the preservation of the pylorus, determined by both univariate and multivariate analyses. Postoperative nutritional outcome was similar in the two groups, although patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy had a better nutritional recovery if the whole stomach was preserved. In our opinion pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy is the treatment of choice of pancreatic head cancer.
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