Association of gravity drainage and complications following Whipple: an analysis of the ACS-NSQIP targeted database

Bradley R. Hall, Zachary H. Egr, Robert W. Krell, James C. Padussis, Valerie K. Shostrom, Chandrakanth Are, Bradley N. Reames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The optimal type of operative drainage following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) remains unclear. Our objective is to investigate risk associated with closed drainage techniques (passive [gravity] vs. suction) after PD. Methods: We assessed operative drainage techniques utilized in patients undergoing PD in the ACS-NSQIP pancreas-targeted database from 2016 to 2018. Using multivariable logistic regression to adjust for characteristics of the patient, procedure, and pancreas, we examined the association between use of gravity drainage and postoperative outcomes. Results: We identified 9665 patients with drains following PD from 2016 to 2018, of which 12.7% received gravity drainage. 61.0% had a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma or pancreatitis, 26.5% had a duct <3 mm, and 43.5% had a soft or intermediate gland. After multivariable adjustment, gravity drainage was associated with decreased rates of postoperative pancreatic fistula (odds ratio [OR] 0.779, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.653–0.930, p=0.006), delayed gastric emptying (OR 0.830, 95% CI 0.693–0.988, p=0.036), superficial SSI (OR 0.741, 95% CI 0.572–0.959, p=0.023), organ space SSI (OR 0.791, 95% CI 0.658–0.951, p=0.012), and readmission (OR 0.807, 95% CI 0.679–0.958, p=0.014) following PD. Conclusions: Gravity drainage is independently associated with decreased rates of CR-POPF, DGE, SSI, and readmission following PD. Additional prospective research is necessary to better understand the preferred drainage technique following PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number118
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Drain
  • Gravity
  • Morbidity
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Suction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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