Pancreatic disorders in children: Relationship of postoperative morbidity and the indication for surgery

Aaron Rabinovich, Frederick J. Rescorla, Thomas J. Howard, Jay Grosfeld, Keith D. Lillemoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Pancreatic surgery in children is a rare occurrence, and this unfamiliarity can be associated with the assumption of significant morbidity and mortality. The indication for pediatric pancreatic surgery and its relationship to postoperative complications and mortality was evaluated. Patients with pancreatic disease requiring surgical intervention from 1992 to 2664 at a tertiary referral center were retrospectively reviewed. Disorders were divided into 3 categories: 1) pancreatitis, 2) trauma, and 3) tumors. Sixty-two patients (28 males and 34 females), average age was 9.5 years (range, 1 week-18 years), underwent 72 operations. Thirty-seven procedures in 30 category I patients, 18 procedures in 15 category II, and 17 operations in 17 category III. There was only one death. A total of 33.9 per cent of the patients had postoperative complications that included: infection (11%), pseudocyst (6%), diabetes mellitus (5.6%), pancreatic fistula (3%), bowel obstruction (1.3%), extracellular fluid (1.3%), pleural effusion (1.3%), and recurrent abdominal pain (13%) (all in category I patients). There was equivalent morbidity between all 3 groups but unique differences with in the categories. Recurrent abdominal pain characterized category I patients, fistulas were more common in category II, and diabetes mellitus was primarily related to near total excisions in category III. Pancreatic surgery in children is associated with a very low mortality (1.6%) and morbidity equal to that of adult patients. Unique types of morbidities occur with each category of disease state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-643
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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