Relatively little is known about the gastrointestinal function after recovery of a pancreatoduodenectomy. This review focuses on the functional changes of the stomach, duodenum and pancreas that occur after pancreatoduodenectomy. Although the mortality in relation to pancreatoduodenectomy has decreased over the years, it remains associated with considerable morbidity, which occurs in 40-60% of patients. Physical complaints early after the operation are often caused by motility disorders, in particular delayed gastric emptying, which occurs in up to 40% of patients. During longer follow-up of these patients the occurrence of endocrine and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency becomes more predominant. Diabetes mellitus develops in 20-50% of patients after a pancreatic resection (pancreatogenic diabetes). The main presenting symptoms of exocrine insufficiency are weight loss and steatorrhea. Its presence is suspected on clinical ground and can be supported by fecal elastase-1 measurement. Exocrine insufficiency can be compensated with oral enteric-coated enzyme supplements. The quality of life issue will be addressed as an important outcome measurement after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Furthermore, the functional changes after pancreatoduodenectomy are described in detail with suggestions for diagnosis and treatment.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Delayed gastric emptying, Endocrine and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, Enteric-coated capsules, Functional changes, Pancreatoduodenectomy, Quality of life
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1159/000264638, hdl.handle.net/1765/28454
Citation
Tran, T.C., van Lanschot, J.J.B., Bruno, M.J., & van Eijck, C.H.J.. (2010). Functional changes after pancreatoduodenectomy: Diagnosis and treatment. Pancreatology, 9(6), 729–737. doi:10.1159/000264638