The aim of this study was to reveal the utility of alimentary reconstruction using staplers during pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), focusing on the occurrence of delayed gastric emptying.
Between 2003 and 2007, 72 PDs with alimentary reconstruction were performed by a single surgeon. Since August 2006, the new Roux-en-Y reconstruction methods using staplers were applied in 26 of the patients. We compared their clinical outcomes with those of the 46 patients who underwent PD using the conventional hand-sewn reconstruction methods.
The results of upper gastrointestinal study showed improvement within 10 postoperative days (PODs; P = 0.03): the patients resumed eating their regular diet sooner (13 vs 6 days, P < 0.001), and both the incidence of delayed gastric emptying (43% vs 19%, P = 0.04) and the hospital stay (27 vs 21 days, P = 0.008) were reduced significantly in patients with stapled reconstruction. Despite the fact that operative costs were significantly higher for patients with stapled reconstruction (P = 0.009), hospital costs were significantly lower (P = 0.049) for those who underwent the conventional method.
Our retrospective analysis shows that stapled reconstructions might reduce the incidence of delayed gastric emptying; however, further study will be necessary to evaluate the utility of this new method.