The curative surgery of periampullary tumors. The results of 48 resections.

J C de Almeida, A Bettencourt, C S Costa, J M de Almeida


Periampullary tumors form a clinical entity with common symptoms, similar therapeutic options, unsatisfactory resectability rates and unfavorable prognosis. From April 1970 until March 1994, one hundred and twenty-seven patients with periampullary carcinoma were operated by our surgical team. In 48 of these patients, a resection for cure was performed (38%). Resectability rates varied according to the origin of these tumors, i.e., pancreas-20%, ampulla-76%; distal bile duct-71%, periampullary duodenum-88%. Pancreatic tumors showed a different resectability rate from the other periampullary carcinomas (p = 0.04). Forty-two of these patients had a pancreatoduodenectomy and in the remaining 6 cases a total pancreatectomy was performed. Fifteen patients had major post-operative morbidity (31%) and 8 of these cases died in-hospital (17%). Follow-up data was available in 81% of the patients, survival estimates were calculated according to the Kaplan-Meier method and survival comparisons were made with the Log-rank test. Median survival for resected pancreatic carcinoma was 6 months and for resected tumors of the ampulla 37 months. In this group of patients, pancreatic tumors showed a different survival rate from the remaining periampullary tumors (Log-rank-p = 0.002). This work evidences the need to improve management of periampullary tumors, particularly in-hospital mortality and long-term survival. To achieve these goals, patients with periampullary tumors should be treated in specialized centers and research to improve local and systemic control of this disease should be pursued.

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