Traditional open surgical necrosectomy for treatment of infected pancreatic necrosis is associated with high morbidity and mortality, leading to a shift toward minimally invasive endoscopic, radiologic, and laparoscopic approaches. Percutaneous drainage is useful as a temporizing method to control sepsis and as an adjunctive treatment to surgical intervention. It is limited because of the requirement for frequent catheter care and the need for repeated procedures. Endoscopic transgastric or transduodenal therapies with endoscopic debridement/necrosectomy have recently been described and are highly successful in carefully selected patients. It avoids the need for open necrosectomy and can be used in poor operative candidates. Laparoscopic necrosectomy is also promising for treatment of pancreatic necrosis. However, the need for inducing a pneumoperitoneum and the potential risk of infection limit its usefulness in patients with critical illness. Retroperitoneal access with a nephroscope is used to directly approach the necrosis with complete removal of a sequestrum. Retroperitoneal drainage using the delay-until-liquefaction strategy also appears to be successful to treat pancreatic necrosis. The anatomic location of the necrosis, clinical comorbidities, and operator experience determine the best approach for a particular patient. Tertiary care centers with sufficient expertise are increasingly using minimally invasive procedures to manage pancreatic necrosis.
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