Systematic Reviews
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Feb 28, 2024; 30(8): 943-955
Published online Feb 28, 2024. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v30.i8.943
Quality of life after pancreatic surgery
Shi-Zhen Li, Ting-Ting Zhen, Yi Wu, Min Wang, Ting-Ting Qin, Hang Zhang, Ren-Yi Qin
Shi-Zhen Li, Ting-Ting Zhen, Yi Wu, Min Wang, Ting-Ting Qin, Hang Zhang, Ren-Yi Qin, Department of Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Affiliated Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, Hubei Province, China
Co-corresponding authors: Hang Zhang and Ren-Yi Qin.
Author contributions: Li SZ, Zhang H, and Qin RY designed the research; Wu Y and Qin TT analyzed the data; Li SZ and Zhen TT wrote original draft; Wang M and Zhang H reviewed and edited the draft; All authors have read and approve the final manuscript.
Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 82273442 and No. 82273438.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
PRISMA 2009 Checklist statement: The authors have read the PRISMA 2009 Checklist, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the PRISMA 2009 Checklist.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Ren-Yi Qin, FACS, PhD, Chief Doctor, Department of Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, Affiliated Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, No. 1095 Jiefang Avenue, Wuhan 430030, Hubei Province, China.
Received: December 1, 2023
Peer-review started: December 1, 2023
First decision: December 18, 2023
Revised: December 29, 2023
Accepted: January 31, 2024
Article in press: January 31, 2024
Published online: February 28, 2024

Pancreatic surgery is challenging owing to the anatomical characteristics of the pancreas. Increasing attention has been paid to changes in quality of life (QOL) after pancreatic surgery.


To summarize and analyze current research results on QOL after pancreatic surgery.


A systematic search of the literature available on PubMed and EMBASE was performed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Relevant studies were identified by screening the references of retrieved articles. Studies on patients’ QOL after pancreatic surgery published after January 1, 2012, were included. These included prospective and retrospective studies on patients' QOL after several types of pancreatic surgeries. The results of these primary studies were summarized inductively.


A total of 45 articles were included in the study, of which 13 were related to pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), seven to duodenum-preserving pancreatic head resection (DPPHR), nine to distal pancreatectomy (DP), two to central pancreatectomy (CP), and 14 to total pancreatectomy (TP). Some studies showed that 3-6 months were needed for QOL recovery after PD, whereas others showed that 6-12 months was more accurate. Although TP and PD had similar influences on QOL, patients needed longer to recover to preoperative or baseline levels after TP. The QOL was better after DPPHR than PD. However, the superiority of the QOL between patients who underwent CP and PD remains controversial. The decrease in exocrine and endocrine functions postoperatively was the main factor affecting the QOL. Minimally invasive surgery could improve patients’ QOL in the early stages after PD and DP; however, the long-term effect remains unclear.


The procedure among PD, DP, CP, and TP with a superior postoperative QOL is controversial. The long-term benefits of minimally invasive versus open surgeries remain unclear. Further prospective trials are warranted.

Keywords: Quality of life, Pancreaticoduodenectomy, Duodenum-preserving pancreatic head resection, Distal pancreatectomy, Central pancreatectomy, Total pancreatectomy

Core Tip: This review summarizes and analyzes current research results on quality of life (QOL) after pancreatic surgery. The article covers the discussion and analysis of the QOL of various pancreatic surgeries. Which kind of surgical procedure has better QOL is controversial. The long-term benefits on QOL of minimally invasive surgery over open surgery are controversial.