Operative pancreatic debridement: Contemporary outcomes in changing times

Thomas K. Maatman, Katelyn F. Flick, Alexandra M. Roch, Nicholas J. Zyromski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/objectives: Operative pancreatic debridement (OPD) is the historic gold standard for treating necrotizing pancreatitis (NP). Recent success with minimally invasive NP treatment approaches have raised the question of which NP patients require OPD. We therefore sought to define contemporary outcomes of NP patients undergoing OPD. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of 116 consecutive NP patients undergoing OPD using a prospectively maintained institutional NP database between 2006 and 2018. Results: 86 (74%) patients underwent open pancreatic debridement (OD) and 30 (26%) underwent open transgastric debridement (TGD). Median follow-up was 16 months (interquartile range [IQR], 8–45 months). Median age was 51 years (IQR, 43–65 years); 73 (63%) were male. Pancreatitis etiology included biliary (53%), alcohol (22%), and idiopathic/other (25%). Median time from diagnosis to OPD was 64.5 days (IQR, 32–114.5 days). Mean APACHE-II score was: admission 8.5 (standard deviation [SD], 5.9); worst 12.6 (SD, 7.9); preoperatively 7.2 (SD, 4.6). 40 patients (34%) were initially managed with minimally invasive techniques (percutaneous drain only in 24, endoscopic only in 6, combination in 10). Median postoperative length of stay was 11 days (IQR, 7–19 days). 90-day morbidity and mortality were 70% and 2%, respectively. Conclusions: NP patients who require OPD are critically and chronically ill. OPD is associated with substantial morbidity, but acceptable mortality in an experienced center with multidisciplinary support. This large contemporary series demonstrates that in properly selected patients, OPD remains an important treatment for NP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)968-975
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Acute necrotizing
  • Mortality
  • Necrosectomy
  • Outcomes
  • Pancreatic debridement
  • Pancreatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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