Pancreatic necrosis is a highly morbid condition. It is most commonly associated with severe, acute pancreatitis, but can also be caused by trauma or chronic pancreatitis. Once diagnosed, management of pancreatic necrosis begins with supportive care, with an emphasis on early, and preferably, enteral nutrition. Intervention for necrosis, sterile or infected, is dictated by patient symptoms and response to conservative management. When possible, intervention should be delayed to allow the necrotic collection to form a capsule. First-line treatment for necrosis is with percutaneous drainage or endoscopic, transmural drainage. These strategies can be effective as monotherapy, but the need for repeated interventions, or for progression to more invasive interventions, is not uncommon. Necrosectomy may be performed using a previously established drainage tract, as in percutaneous endoscopic necrosectomy (PEN), video-assisted retroperitoneal debridement (VARD), and direct endoscopic necrosectomy (DEN). Although outcomes for these minimally-invasive techniques are better than for traditional necrosectomy, both laparoscopic and open techniques remain important for patients with extensive disease that cannot otherwise be adequately treated. This is especially true when pancreatic necrosis is complicated by disconnected pancreatic duct syndrome (DPDS), where necrosectomy remains standard of care.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Pancreatitis