The surgical management of necrotizing pancreatitis continues to evolve and now includes multiple alternatives to traditional open debridement – minimally invasive strategies have been developed with the intent to decrease the physiologic stress associated with this procedure. Proponents of each procedure report their technical success and the “safety and feasibility” of their favored strategy. However, extension into routine clinical practice is limited by considerable variation in technique and lack of widespread expertise. No single approach is optimal for all patients. The strategy for drainage/debridement among the breadth of techniques now available must be individualized according to patient presentation and anatomy. The purpose of this review is to present the current state of interventions for necrotizing pancreatitis and provide a practical guide to understanding the indications and application of these procedures.
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