Techniques and results of portal vein/superior mesenteric vein reconstruction using femoral and saphenous vein during pancreaticoduodenectomy

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30 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with pancreatic tumors may have portal vein (PV) and/or superior mesenteric vein (SMV) invasion. In such cases, lower extremity veins can provide an autogenous conduit for PV/SMV reconstruction. Little data exist, however, describing the technique of PV/SMV reconstruction, patency of such reconstructions, and the morbidity of using lower extremity veins for PV/SMV reconstruction during pancreaticoduodenectomy. Methods: Thirty-four patients underwent PV/SMV reconstruction during pancreaticoduodenectomy using lower extremity vein. The saphenous vein was preferred for patching and femoral vein for replacement. We analyzed preoperative imaging, reconstruction patency, vein harvest morbidity, and late mortality. Results: The mean age was 62.6 years. All 34 patients had preoperative computed tomography (CT) imaging and/or endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) scan. Fourteen of the 34 patients had evidence of PV/SMV invasion on CT or EUS scans, 14 did not, and six studies were indeterminate. Twenty-five patients had follow-up imaging, and 22 (88%) had patent reconstructions. Fifteen patients had PV/SMV replacement using femoral vein. Seven of these 15 had minor postoperative lower extremity edema that resolved over time, five had wound complications from the femoral vein harvest site, three of which required minor operative procedures for treatment. Fifteen patients had PV/SMV patching with the great saphenous vein, none had postoperative wound problems, and one had minimal postoperative lower extremity edema. Four patients had PV/SMV patching using femoral vein, none had postoperative wound problems, and one had minimal postoperative lower extremity edema. Compared with patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy without PV/SMV reconstruction, by Kaplan-Meier analysis, there was no difference in late mortality. Conclusion: Preoperative imaging may fail to detect PV/SMV involvement in patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy. The PV/SMV reconstruction with leg vein provides good patency with minimal postoperative lower extremity complications and no increase in late mortality. The lower extremities should be routinely included in the operative field of patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-666
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery

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