The Impact of Obesity on Surgical Outcome after Pancreaticoduodenectomy

Context The effect of obesity on surgical outcome is becoming an increasingly relevant issue given the growing rate of obesity worldwide. Objective To investigate the specific impact of obesity on pancreaticoduodenectomy. Design A retrospective comparative study of a prospectively maintained database was carried out to investigate the specific impact of obesity on the technical aspects and postoperative outcome of pancreaticoduodenectomy. Patients Between 1999 and 2006, 92 consecutive patients underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy using a standardized technique. The study population was subdivided according to the presence or absence of obesity. Results Nineteen (20.7%) patients were obese and 73 (79.3%) patients were non-obese. The two groups were comparable in terms of demographics, American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) score as well as nature and type of pancreatico-digestive anastomosis. The rate of clinically relevant pancreatic fistula (36.8% vs. 15.1%; P=0.050) and hospital stay (23.1±13.9 vs. 17.0±8.0 days; P=0.015) were significantly increased in obese vs. non-obese patients, respectively. Pancreatic fistula was responsible for one-half of the deaths (2/4) and two ruptured pseudoaneurysms. The incidence of the other procedure-related and general postoperative complications were not significantly different between the two groups. Intrapancreatic fat was increased in 10 obese patients (52.6%) and correlated positively both with BMI (P=0.001) and with the occurrence of pancreatic fistula (P=0.003). Conclusion Obese patients are at increased risk for developing pancreatic fistula after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Special surgical caution as well as vigilant postoperative monitoring are therefore recommended in obese patients.


Roger Noun, Edward Riachy, Claude Ghorra, Thierry Yazbeck, Cyril Tohme, Bassam Abboud, Samah Naderi, Viviane Chalhoub, Eliane Ayoub, Patricia Yazbeck

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