Background: Chronic pancreatitis requiring surgery is rare in children. We review our experience in treating pediatric chronic pancreatitis with longitudinal pancreaticojejunostomy (LPJ). Methods: Records of children with chronic pancreatitis treated with LPJ between 1997 and 2003 were reviewed. Demographic data, associated conditions, endoscopic interventions, operative procedures, postoperative complications, length and costs of hospitalization, and long-term outcome were recorded. Results: Four patients (one girl), 3 to 16 years old, underwent LPJ. Associated conditions included bile duct obstruction (2), single (1) or multiple (1) pancreatic duct strictures, recurrent familial pancreatitis (1), pseudocyst (1), Down's syndrome (1), and duodenal web (1). Preoperative endoscopic stenting was performed in two patients. All were on restricted diets, one on parenteral nutrition. Pre-LPJ, each child had 3 to 6 admissions for pancreatitis with mean total cost of $39,000, excluding diet charges. At surgery, two patients required biliary diversion for persistent biliary obstruction in addition to LPJ. Postoperatively, no patient developed fistulas or anastomotic leaks. There were no deaths. The median length of hospitalization post-LPJ was 8 days with mean cost of US$37,000. All patients resumed a normal diet post-LPJ. There were no recurrences of pancreatitis with follow-ups between 2 and 6 years. Conclusion: Longitudinal pancreaticojejunostomy is safe and cost-effective for treating pediatric chronic pancreatitis. It has minimal complications and frees patients from pancreatitis-related hospitalizations.
- Puestow procedure
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