Ann Surg Treat Res.  2021 Apr;100(4):200-208. 10.4174/astr.2021.100.4.200.

Changes in postoperative long-term nutritional status and quality of life after total pancreatectomy

  • 1Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Quality of life (QoL) is widely known to be poor after total pancreatectomy (TP) due to the loss of pancreatic function and poor nutritional status, but prospective studies on changes in QoL over time are lacking. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the short- and long-term consequences of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, changes in nutritional status, and their associated effects on QoL after TP.
Prospective data were collected from patients who underwent TP between 2008 and 2018. Validated questionnaires (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire [EORTC QLQ] Core 30, EORTC QLQ-pancreatic cancer module, and the Mini Nutritional Assessment), measured frequency of bowel movement, relative body weight (RBW), triceps skinfold thickness (TSFT), and serum levels of protein, albumin, transferrin, and hemoglobin A1c were collected serially for 1 year.
Thirty patients who underwent TP were eligible for the study. Bowel movement frequency increased over time, and the RBW and TSFT were lowest by 1 year. The global health status score showed no significant difference over time. At 3 months, physical and role function scores as well as symptoms of fatigue, constipation, and digestive difficulties worsened significantly. Most indices recovered after 1 year, but poorer physical function scores, digestive difficulties, and altered bowel habits persisted.
Because some symptoms do not recover over time, careful follow-up and supportive postoperative management are needed for TP patients, including nutritional support with pancreatic enzyme replacement and education about medication adherence and diet.


Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency; Nutritional status; Pancreatic diseases; Pancreatectomy; Quality of life
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