Acute and chronic pancreatitis: surgical management

Dzakovic, A.; Superina, R.

Semin Pediatr Surg. 2012 Jul 18; 21(3):266-71

Abstract

Pancreatitis is becoming increasingly prevalent in children, posing new challenges to pediatric health care providers. Although some general adult treatment paradigms are applicable in the pediatric population, diagnostic workup and surgical management of acute and chronic pancreatitis have to be tailored to anatomic and pathophysiological entities peculiar to children. Nonbiliary causes of acute pancreatitis in children are generally managed nonoperatively with hydration, close biochemical and clinical observation, and early initiation of enteral feeds. Surgical intervention including cholecystectomy or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is often required in acute biliary pancreatitis, whereas infected pancreatic necrosis remains a rare absolute indication for pancreatic debridement and drainage via open, laparoscopic, or interventional radiologic procedure. Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by painful irreversible changes of the parenchyma and ducts, which may result in or be caused by inadequate ductal drainage. A variety of surgical procedures providing drainage, denervation, resection, or a combination thereof are well established to relieve pain and preserve pancreatic function.

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