For decades, infected or symptomatic pancreatic necrosis was managed by open surgical necrosectomy, an approach that has now been largely supplanted by an array of techniques referred to as the step-up approach.
This review describes the evidence base behind the step-up approach, when to use the different techniques, and their technical basics. The most common treatment strategies are included: percutaneous drainage, video-assisted retroperitoneal debridement, sinus tract endoscopy, endoscopic transgastric necrosectomy, and surgical transgastric necrosectomy. Also included is the evidence base around management of common complications that can occur during step-up management, such as hemorrhage, intestinal fistula, and thrombosis, in addition to associated issues that can arise during step-up management, such as the need for cholecystectomy and disconnected pancreatic duct syndrome.
Conclusions and Relevance
The treatment strategies highlighted in this review are those most commonly used during step-up management, and this review is designed as a guide to the evidence base underlying these strategies, as surgeons tailor their therapeutic approach to individual patients.