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Morbidity and mortality after hepatic and pancreatic resections: results from one surgeon at a low-volume urban hospital over thirty years

      Abstract

      Background

      Recent reviews of state and national databases suggest that hospital volume is inversely proportional to morbidity after hepatic and pancreatic resection. Volume may be a surrogate marker for factors such as coordination of care and surgeon training. The authors hypothesized that low-volume centers can obtain acceptable outcomes if these requirements are satisfied.

      Methods

      A retrospective review was performed of all hepatic and pancreatic resections performed from 1978 to 2008 by 1 surgeon at 1 low-volume institution. The etiology of disease, type of resection, and 30-day morbidity and mortality were assessed.

      Results

      One hundred sixty-eight hepatic resections were performed for malignant (76%) or benign (24%) etiologies. Major resections included extended lobectomy (n = 19), lobectomy (n = 58), and segmentectomy (n = 62); minor resections consisted of wedge resections (n = 29). Overall 30-day mortality was 1.8%, and major morbidity was 17.9%; for major hepatic resections, mortality and morbidity were 1.4% and 20.1%, respectively. One hundred fourteen pancreatic resections were performed for malignant (76.3%) or benign (23.7%) etiologies. Major resections included pancreaticoduodenectomy (n = 91), central pancreatectomy (n = 1), and total pancreatectomy (n = 4); minor resections consisted of distal pancreatectomy (n = 18). Overall 30-day mortality was 2.6%, and major morbidity was 27.2%; for major pancreatic resections, mortality and morbidity were 3.1% and 31.3%, respectively.

      Conclusions

      Hepatic and pancreatic resections can be performed safely at a low-volume hospital with adequate surgeon training and perioperative systems of care.

      Keywords

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