Objective: The preoperative diagnostic strategy and operative technique for reoperative pancreaticoduodenectomy were outlined and operative mortality, perioperative morbidity, and early survival data in carefully selected patients undergoing reoperation for pancreatic cancer were analyzed. Summary Background Data: Many patients with localized, nonmetastatic cancer of the pancreas undergo exploratory surgery with limited preoperative assessment of resectability. Frequently, pancreaticoduodenectomy is not performed because cytologic or histologic proof of diagnosis is lacking, or tumor resectability is questioned. Many patients are denied reoperation and a potentially curative resection because of the unacceptable morbidity and mortality believed to accompany pancreaticoduodenectomy in the reoperative setting. Methods: Twenty-three patients who had undergone previous surgery for palliation or diagnosis of a pancreatic head mass were reoperated on after a standardized preoperative imaging evaluation consisting of chest radiography, computed tomography, and visceral angiography. A standardized operative technique was used on all patients, but was modified based on altered anatomy from the initial operation. Results: Based on preoperative imaging studies, 19 of the 23 patients believed to have resectable tumors underwent laparotomy for planned pancreaticoduodenectomy; resection was accomplished in 14 patients. Seven of the fourteen patients required extended resections that included the superior mesenteric vein, right colon, or both. There was no perioperative mortality, and early complications occurred in 3 of the 14 resected patients. Four patients underwent planned palliative procedures. Four of ten patients who underwent resection for adenocarcinoma are without evidence of disease at a median follow-up of 26 months. Conclusions: Reoperative pancreaticoduodenectomy can be performed safely and may result in prolonged survival in carefully selected patients with resectable, localized pancreatic cancer.
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