Pancreatic pseudocysts

C. Apostolou*, J. E.J. Krige, R. C. Bornman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Improvements in imaging studies and a better understanding of the natural history of pancreatic fluid collections (PFCs) have allowed the different types to be clarified. 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. 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. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-155
Number of pages8
JournalSouth African Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


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