, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 59-65
Date: 17 Jan 2007

Absorbable Mesh Reinforcement of a Stapled Pancreatic Transection Line Reduces the Leak Rate with Distal Pancreatectomy

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Pancreatic leak remains a significant cause of morbidity after distal pancreatectomy. We report the use of an absorbable mesh to reinforce a stapled pancreatic transection line for distal pancreatectomy. Forty consecutive distal pancreatectomies (33 open and 7 laparoscopic) were performed since the introduction of mesh reinforcement. We utilized an inclusive definition of pancreatic leak to critically evaluate the staple line reinforcement material. In addition, we compared the pancreatic leak rate for this case series with the antecedent 40 cases where mesh reinforcement was not available. In the prospective series there was 1 leak in 29 cases (3.5%) in which mesh reinforcement was utilized, and 4 leaks in 11 cases (36%) when mesh was not utilized (p < 0.005). The 12.5% leak rate for the 40 cases during the prospective period, compared favorably to the 27.5% leak rate for the 40 cases preceding the study period (p = 0.09). Twenty-nine cases receiving mesh compared favorably to the 23 stapled cases in the control series, reducing leak rate from 22 to 3.5% (p = 0.04). Mesh reinforcement of the stapled pancreatic transection line reduced the pancreatic leak rate after distal pancreatectomy. Mesh reinforcement was possible with open or laparoscopic resections. No complications were attributable to the use of absorbable mesh.

This study was presented in part at the 2006 American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association annual meeting, March, 2006, Miami Beach, Florida.