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Decision-Making for the Management of Cystic Lesions of the Pancreas: How Satisfied Are Patients with Surgery?

  • 2017 SSAT Plenary Presentation
  • Published:
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery



This study aims to understand patients’ perspectives and satisfaction with choosing surgery for the treatment of pancreatic cystic lesions (PCLs).


A 62-question survey was administered to 113 patients who had a resection for a PCL by 12 surgeons at two pancreatic specialty centers (2004–2016). Patients’ final diagnoses and perioperative outcomes were correlated to the survey’s results using univariate analysis.


Fear of cancer was quite or extremely important in most respondents’ decision to have surgery (95.4%). Respondents were quite or fully satisfied with the outcomes of surgery (91.1%) and with the decision-making process (89.3%). Distress from anxiety about the cyst before surgery (58.6%) largely outweighed that from postsurgical lifestyle changes (14.4%). Furthermore, 88.7% of patients with pathologically non-malignant disease were quite or fully satisfied with their decision to have surgery, and patients with mucinous neoplasms reported high satisfaction rates independent of grade of dysplasia or malignancy (p = 0.641).


Patients with a resected PCL are highly satisfied with their decision to have surgery, regardless of the final diagnosis or clinical outcome. Fear of cancer is the main driver in the decision-making process, and the anxiety of harboring a cyst is a greater cause of distress than are postsurgical lifestyle changes.

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Authors and Affiliations



Conception/design: PM Puri, TS Kent, and CM Vollmer; data acquisition: PM Puri and AA Watkins; data analysis: L Maggino and PM Puri; data interpretation: all authors; drafting: PM Puri, L Maggino, and CM Vollmer; critical revisions: all authors; final approval: all authors.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Charles M. Vollmer.

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Puri, P.M., Watkins, A.A., Kent, T.S. et al. Decision-Making for the Management of Cystic Lesions of the Pancreas: How Satisfied Are Patients with Surgery?. J Gastrointest Surg 22, 88–97 (2018).

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