Pancreatic necrosectomy

Surgical treatment for severe pancreatitis

Pancreatic necrosectomy is the surgical treatment of pancreatic necrosis ‒ a serious complication of acute pancreatitis.

About

Pancreatic necrosis is serious complication of acute pancreatitis which can be fatal, particularly if it becomes infected. Pancreatic necrosectomy is a surgical intervention that offers several options including the conventional open, percutaneous, laparoscopic, endoscopic or 'step-up' approaches.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Pancreatitis is where the pancreas is inflamed, and necrosis is a complication where the tissue of the pancreas starts to die and may become infected. The goal of necrosectomy is to remove all the areas of infection and necrosis, through one of several ways.

    The open surgical approach uses an abdominal cut.

    Alternatively, an endoscope (a thin tube with a camera on the end) is inserted through the mouth and instruments are passed through the stomach wall to wash out and remove the dead tissue.

    The laparoscopic approach is where the pancreas is accessed via smaller surgical cuts, and the purulent materials are gently suctioned out.

    Following the procedure, drains are inserted from the pancreatic area, a gastric tube is placed to control secretions coming from the stomach, and an appropriate access for feeding will also be inserted.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    As with any general anaesthetic you will need to abstain from food for six hours before the procedure. Depending on the nature of the underlying pancreatitis and chosen surgical approach, CT scanning may be used to insert a drain into the pancreas.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    Pancreatic necrosectomy is an advanced treatment for pancreatitis and post-operative care will be in keeping with ongoing treatment for the underlying pancreatitis. 

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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