n South African Journal of Surgery - Pancreatic pseudocysts : review

Volume 44, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Improvements in imaging studies and a better understanding of the natural history of pancreatic fluid collections (PFCs) have allowed the different types to be clari- fied. Stratification of PFCs into subgroups should help in selecting from the increasing current available treatment options, which include percutaneous, endoscopic and surgical drainage. Percutaneous catheter drainage is safe and effective and should be the treatment of choice in poor-risk patients, and for infected pseudocysts related to acute pancreatitis. Endoscopic drainage should be the first management option in suitable pseudocysts related to chronic pancreatitis, if the necessary expertise is available. The high success rate and current low morbidity of elective open surgery mean that it is still the standard of management in this disease. <br>Laparoscopic approaches are gaining favour, predominantly in drainage of collections in the lesser sac, and long-term data are awaited. The precise application of this modality will need to be critically compared with the low morbidity of mini-laparotomy, which is the current standard after non-operative treatment fails in these patients. <br>It is essential to clearly stratify the different types of pancreatic pseudocysts, in particular with relation to acute or chronic pancreatitis, and perform a valid comparison of the different treatment modalities within groups. In this capacity a precise and transparent classification may provide valuable answers, in particular relating to optimal management according to pseudocyst type.

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