Patient Care

Endoscopic vs. Surgical Cystogastrostomy for Pancreatic Pseudocyst Drainage


Clinical question: How does endoscopic cystogastrostomy for pancreatic pseudocyst drainage compare to the standard surgical approach?

Background: Pancreatic pseudocysts are a common complication of pancreatitis and necessitate decompression when they are accompanied by pain, infection, or obstruction. Decompression of the pseudocyst can be accomplished using either endoscopic or surgical cystogastrostomy.

Study design: Open-label, single-center, randomized trial.

Setting: Single-center U.S. hospital.

Synopsis: A total of 40 patients were randomly equalized to both treatment arms; 20 patients underwent endoscopic and 20 patients underwent surgical cystogastrostomy. Zero patients in the endoscopic therapy had a pseudocyst recurrence, compared with one patient treated surgically. Length of stay (LOS) and cost were lower for the endoscopic group compared to the surgical group (two days vs. six days, P<0.001, $7,011 vs. $15,052, P=0.003).

This study is limited due to several factors. First, patients with pancreatic necrosis were excluded; had these patients been included, the complication rates and LOS would have been higher. Second, cost difference cannot be generalized across the U.S., because Medicare payments are based on provider types and regions.

Bottom line: Endoscopic cystogastrostomy for pancreatic pseudocyst is equal to the standard surgical therapy and results in decreased LOS and reduced costs.

Citation: Varadarajulu S, Bang JY, Sutton BS, Trevino JM, Christein JD, Wilcox CM. Equal efficacy of endoscopic and surgical cystogastrostomy for pancreatic pseudocyst drainage in a randomized trial. Gastroenterology. 2013;145(3):583-590.

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