2012 SSAT Poster Presentation

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 267-272

First online:

Meta-analysis of Bioabsorbable Staple Line Reinforcement and Risk of Fistula Following Pancreatic Resection

  • Eric H. JensenAffiliated withUniversity of Minnesota Medical Center Email author 
  • , Pamela R. PortschyAffiliated withUniversity of Minnesota Medical Center
  • , Jessica ChowaniecAffiliated withCovidien
  • , Ming TengAffiliated withCovidien

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Stapled pancreatic transection is widely used although pancreatic fistula remains a common post-surgical complication.


We performed a meta-analysis of existing data regarding pancreatic fistula following stapled pancreatic transection, comparing bare metal staples to reinforced staple loads.


We identified ten manuscripts between 2007 and 2009 reporting outcomes following stapled division of the pancreas (five retrospective reviews, five prospective case series). A total of 483 stapled pancreatic resections are included in this meta-analysis. Of these, 234(48 %) were reinforced (REINF) and 249 (52 %) were bare staples (STPL). Out of 483 cases, there were a total of 100 documented pancreatic leaks (21 %). Sixty-one leaks were reported out of 249 STPL divisions (24 %), while 39 leaks were reported following REINF division (17 %). The overall relative risk of developing a pancreatic fistula following distal pancreatectomy was not significantly different comparing STPL to REINF when all studies were combined (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.65–1.53). We further evaluated the data stratifying by study design (prospective or retrospective) and found that prospective studies reported a significantly higher risk of pancreatic fistula with STPL compared to REINF technique (RR 14.45, 95 % CI 3.15–66.21).


Reinforced staples may be a preferred method of pancreatic stump closure following distal pancreatectomy.


Pancreas Pancreatic fistula Staple line reinforcement