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      Clinical Pathways For Pancreatic Surgery: Are They A Suitable Instrument For Process Standardization To Improve Process And Outcome Quality Of Patients Undergoing Distal And Total Pancreatectomy? - A Retrospective Cohort Study

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          Pancreatic surgery demands complex multidisciplinary management, which is often cumbersome to implement. Clinical pathways (CPs) are a tool to facilitate this task, but evidence for their utility in pancreatic surgery is scarce. This study evaluated if CPs are a suitable tool for process standardization in order to improve process and outcome quality in patients undergoing distal and total pancreatectomy.

          Patients and methods

          Data of consecutive patients who underwent distal or total pancreatectomy before (n=67) or after (n=61) CP introduction were evaluated regarding catheter management, postoperative mobilization, pancreatic enzyme substitution, resumption of diet and length of stay. Outcome quality was assessed using glycaemia management, morbidity, mortality, reoperation and readmission rates.


          The usage of incentive spirometers for pneumonia prophylaxis increased. The median number of days with hyperglycemia decreased significantly from 2.5 to 0. For distal pancreatectomy, the incidence of postoperative diabetes dropped from 27.9% to 7.1% (p=0.012). The incidence of postoperative exocrine pancreatic insufficiency decreased from 37.2% to 11.9% (p=0.007). There was no significant difference in mortality, morbidity, reoperation and readmission rates between groups.


          Following implementation of a pancreatic surgery CP, several indicators of process and outcome quality improved, while others such as mortality and reoperation rates remained unchanged. CPs are a promising tool to improve quality of care in pancreatic surgery.

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          Most cited references 40

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          Resected adenocarcinoma of the pancreas-616 patients: results, outcomes, and prognostic indicators.

          This large-volume, single-institution review examines factors influencing long-term survival after resection in patients with adenocarcinoma of the head, neck, uncinate process, body, or tail of the pancreas. Between January 1984 and July 1999 inclusive, 616 patients with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas underwent surgical resection. A retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database was performed. Both univariate and multivariate models were used to determine the factors influencing survival. Of the 616 patients, 526 (85%) underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma of the head, neck, or uncinate process of the pancreas, 52 (9%) underwent distal pancreatectomy for adenocarcinoma of the body or tail, and 38 (6%) underwent total pancreatectomy for adenocarcinoma extensively involving the gland. The mean age of the patients was 64.3 years, with 54% being male and 91% being white. The overall perioperative mortality rate was 2.3%, whereas the incidence of postoperative complications was 30%. The median postoperative length of stay was 11 days. The mean tumor diameter was 3.2 cm, with 72% of patients having positive lymph nodes, 30% having positive resection margins, and 36% having poorly differentiated tumors. Patients undergoing distal pancreatectomy for left-sided lesions had larger tumors (4.7 vs. 3.1 cm, P < 0.0001), but fewer node-positive resections (59% vs. 73%, P = 0.03) and fewer poorly differentiated tumors (29% vs. 36%, P < 0.001), as compared to those undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy for right-sided lesions. The overall survival of the entire cohort was 63% at 1 year and 17% at 5 years, with a median survival of 17 months. For right-sided lesions the 1- and 5-year survival rates were 64% and 17%, respectively, compared to 50% and 15% for left-sided lesions. Factors shown to have favorable independent prognostic significance by multivariate analysis were negative resection margins (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.64, confidence interval [CI] = 0.50 to 0.82, P = 0.0004), tumor diameter less than 3 cm (HR = 0.72, CI = 0.57 to 0.90, P = 0.004), estimated blood loss less than 750 ml (HR = 0.75, CI = 0.58 to 0.96, P = 0.02), well/moderate tumor differentiation (HR = 0.71, CI = 0.56 to 0.90, P = 0.005), and postoperative chemoradiation (HR = 0.50, CI = 0.39 to 0.64, P < 0.0001). Tumor location in head, neck, or uncinate process approached significance in the final multivariate model (HR = 0.60, CI = 0.35 to 1.0, P = 0.06). Pancreatic resection remains the only hope for long-term survival in patients with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Completeness of resection and tumor characteristics including tumor size and degree of differentiation are important independent prognostic indicators. Adjuvant chemoradiation is a strong predictor of outcome and likely decreases the independent significance of tumor location and nodal status.
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              Distal pancreatectomy: indications and outcomes in 235 patients.

              Distal pancreatectomy is performed for a variety of benign and malignant conditions. In recent years, significant improvements in perioperative results have been observed at high-volume centers after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Little data, however, are available concerning the current indications and outcomes after distal pancreatectomy. This single-institution experience reviews the recent indications, complications, and outcomes after distal pancreatectomy. A retrospective analysis was performed of the hospital records of all patients undergoing distal pancreatectomy between January 1994 and December 1997, inclusive. The patient population (n = 235) had a mean age of 51 years, (range 1 month to 82 years); 43% were male and 84% white. The final diagnoses included chronic pancreatitis (24%), benign pancreatic cystadenoma (22%), pancreatic adenocarcinoma (18%), neuroendocrine tumor (14%), pancreatic pseudocyst (6%), cystadenocarcinoma (3%), and miscellaneous (13%). The level of resection was at or to the left of the superior mesenteric vein in 96% of patients. A splenectomy was performed in 84% and a cholecystectomy in 15% of patients. The median intraoperative blood loss was 450 ml, the median number of red blood cell units transfused was zero, and the median operative time was 4.3 hours. Two deaths occurred in the hospital or within 30 days of surgery for a perioperative mortality rate of 0.9%. The overall postoperative complication rate was 31%; the most common complications were new-onset insulin-dependent diabetes (8%), pancreatic fistula (5%), intraabdominal abscess (4%), small bowel obstruction (4%), and postoperative hemorrhage (4%). Fourteen patients (6%) required a second surgical procedure; the most common indication was postoperative bleeding. The median length of postoperative hospital stay was 10 days. Patients who underwent a distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy (n = 198) had a similar complication rate (30% vs. 29%), operative time (4.6 vs. 5.1 hours), and intraoperative blood loss (500 vs. 350 ml) and a shorter postoperative length of stay (13 vs. 21 days) than the patients who had splenic preservation (n = 37). This series represents the largest single-institution experience with distal pancreatectomy. These data demonstrate that elective distal pancreatectomy is associated with a mortality rate of <1%. These results demonstrate that, as with pancreaticoduodenectomy, distal pancreatectomy can be performed with minimal perioperative mortality and acceptable morbidity.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                01 October 2019
                : 15
                : 1141-1152
                [1 ]Department of Surgery, Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University , Mannheim 68167, Germany
                [2 ]Department of General, Visceral, Vascular, and Thoracic Surgery, Klinikum Frankfurt Höchst , Frankfurt 65929, Germany
                [3 ]Department of General and Visceral Surgery, GRN-Klinik Weinheim , Weinheim 69469, Germany
                [4 ]Department of Surgery, Alfried Krupp Hospital , Essen 45131, Germany
                [5 ]Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery, University Hospital Halle , Halle, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ulrich Ronellenfitsch University Hospital Halle, Department of Visceral, Vascular and Endocrine Surgery , Ernst-Grube-Street 40, Halle (Saale)06097, GermanyTel +49 345 557 2314Fax +49 345 557 2551 Email ulrich.ronellenfitsch@uk-halle.de
                © 2019 Téoule et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 53, Pages: 12
                Original Research


                clinical pathways, pancreatic surgery, distal pancreatectomy, pancreatectomy, quality of care


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