Background: Over the past decade, the treatment of necrotizing pancreatitis (NP) has incorporated greater use of minimally invasive techniques, including percutaneous drainage and endoscopic debridement. No study has yet compared outcomes of patients treated with all available techniques. We sought to evaluate the evolution of NP treatment at our high volume pancreas center. We hypothesized that minimally invasive techniques (medical only, percutaneous, and endoscopic) were used more frequently in later years. Methods: Treatment strategy of NP patients at a single academic medical center between 2005 and 2014 was reviewed. Definitive management of pancreatic necrosis was categorized as: 1) medical treatment only; 2) surgical only; 3) percutaneous (interventional radiology - IR) only; 4) endoscopic only; and 5) combination (Surgery ± IR ± Endoscopy). Results: 526 NP patients included biliary (45%), alcoholic (17%), and idiopathic (20%) etiology. Select patients were managed exclusively by medical, IR, or endoscopic treatment; use of these therapies remained relatively consistent over time. A combination of therapies was used in about 30% of patients. Over time, the percentage of NP patients managed without operation increased from 28% to 41%. 247 (47%) of patients had operation as the only NP treatment; an additional 143 (27%) required surgery as part of a multidisciplinary management. Conclusion: Select NP patients may be managed exclusively by medical, IR, or endoscopic treatment. Combination treatment is necessary in many NP patients, and surgical treatment continues to play an important role in the definitive therapy of necrotizing pancreatitis patients.
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