Different types of pancreatico-enteric anastomosis
The pancreatico-enteric anastomosis has widely been regarded as the ‘Achilles heel’ of the modern day, single-stage, pancreatoduodenectomy (PD). A review of the literature was carried out to address the evolution of the pancreatico-enteric anastomosis following PD, the spectrum of anastomoses performed around the world, and finally present the current evidence in support of each anastomosis. Pancreaticogastrostomy (PG) and pancreaticojejunostomy (PJ) are the most common forms of pancreatico-enteric reconstruction following PD. There is no difference in postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) rates between PG and PJ, as well as individual variations, except in a high-risk anastomosis where performance of a PJ may be preferred. The routine use of glue, trans-anastomotic stents or omental wrapping is of no proven benefit. Externalised trans-anastomotic stents may have a role in mitigating the risk of a clinically relevant POPF in high-risk anastomoses. Pancreatico-enteric anastomosis is an important component of reconstruction following PD even though it is fraught with the risk of development of a POPF. Adherence to the tenets of anastomotic reconstruction and performance of a safe and reproducible anastomosis with a low clinically-relevant POPF rate remain the mainstay of achieving the best outcomes. Appropriate selection and opportune use of fistula mitigation strategies may help provide optimal outcomes when faced with the need to perform a high-risk pancreatico-enteric anastomosis.