The pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy (PPPD) has taken the place of the conventional Whipple pancreato-duodenectomy as the standard procedure for various periampullary disease. With recent advances in surgical techniques and improvements in perioperative management, the number of long-term survivors after PPPD is increasing. As a result, surgeons should pay more attention to the patients' postoperative gastrointestinal function, nutrition, and quality of life (QOL). Gastric stasis, which is a frequent complication during the early postoperative period after PPPD, prolongs the hospital stay and impairs the QOL in the intermediate term. Several possible pathogeneses for this gastric stasis have been postulated; however, the precise mechanism remains unclear. The gastric emptying function gradually recovers to the preoperative level by 6 months after PPPD. Pancreatic functions are likely to be maintained for at least 1 year after PPPD; however, in some cases, they tend to gradually deteriorate over time after the operation, depending on the type of pancreatic reconstruction or the preoperative condition of the pancreas. It is important to note that preoperative and postoperative pancreatic exocrine function strongly influence the postoperative outcome regarding such factors as pancreatic fistula, body weight maintenance, nutrition, and the QOL. The QOL, as assessed by questionnaire, normally returns to the preoperative level within 6 months after PPPD, and this correlates with the changes in gastrointestinal function and nutritional status. It still remains an unresolved question, however, whether the Billroth-I PPPD really leads to better long-term nutritional status, but worse early gastric emptying function, than the Billroth-II type of reconstruction.
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