A Review of Techniques for Closure of the Pancreatic Remnant following Distal Pancreatectomy

Dániel Kollár, Tamás Huszár, Zsolt Pohárnok, Éva Cselovszky, Attila Oláh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of pancreatic diseases needing surgical intervention is continuously rising. Distal pancreatectomy is performed in the case of pathologies affecting the left side of the pancreas. More and more sophisticated surgical techniques have appeared and an increasing number of published articles discuss the possibilities for closure of the pancreatic remnant. However, the optimum solution is still under debate, as none of the examined techniques have been proven superior in reducing the incidence of the most common surgical complication, the formation of a postoperative pancreatic fistula (PF). Fistula rates have been stationary at 20-30% in the past decades despite the apparent advancement of medicine. This review presents a survey of the relevant articles examining different closure strategies and risk factors to reduce fistula formation rate. International medical publication database search and assessment was carried out to include the findings of studies investigating the efficacy of pancreatic remnant closure techniques to gain a clearer view on the complexity of pancreas fistulas. Emphasis is on indications for surgery, risk factors for postoperative fistula formation and strategies to seal the pancreatic remnant to avoid leakage. Findings suggest that careful patient selection, meticulous surgical techniques are equally important to reduce fistula rates. Ideal closure of the pancreatic remnant is still to be developed, as none of the widespread techniques (hand-sewn suture or staple closure) proved to be statistically significantly superior. Additional closure and covering methods (seromuscular patch, falciform ligament patch, pancreatico-enteric anastomosis, reinforced staplers, fibrin glue etc.) can have profitable effect but strong evidences are yet to come due to small case numbers. The recent introduction of standardized classification of PFs and future prospective randomized trials are more likely to be susceptible to determine if any of the standard or experimental closure techniques is more beneficial than the others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-328
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


  • Closure
  • Coverage
  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Left pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic fistula
  • Pancreatic remnant
  • Postoperative pancreatic fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology

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