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To analyze the efficacy of extended drainage-that is, longitudinal pancreaticojejunostomy combined with local pancreatic head excision (LPJ-LPHE)-and pylorus-preserving pancreatoduodenectomy (PPPD) in terms of pain relief, control of complications arising from adjacent organs, and quality of life.Based on the hypotheses of pain origin (ductal hypertension and perineural inflammatory infiltration), drainage and resection constitute the main principles of surgery for chronic pancreatitis.Sixty-one patients were randomly allocated to either LPJ-LPHE (n = 31) or PPPD (n = 30). The interval between symptoms and surgery ranged from 12 months to 10 years (mean 5.1 years). In addition to routine pancreatic diagnostic workup, a multidimensional psychometric quality-of-life questionnaire and a pain score were used. Endocrine and exocrine functions were assessed in terms of oral glucose tolerance and serum concentrations of insulin, C-peptide, and HbA1c, as well as fecal chymotrypsin and pancreolauryl testing. During a median follow-up of 24 months (range 12 to 36), patients were reassessed in the outpatient clinic.One patient died of cardiovascular failure in the LPJ-LPHE group (3.2%); there were no deaths in the PPPD group. Overall, the rate of in-hospital complications was 19.4% in the LPJ-LPHE group and 53.3% in the PPPD group, including delayed gastric emptying in 9 of 30 patients (30%; p < 0.05). Complications of adjacent organs were definitively resolved in 93.5% in the LPJ-LPHE group and in 100% in the PPPD group. The pain score decreased by 94% after LPJ-LPHE and by 95% after PPPD. Global quality of life improved by 71% in the LPJ-LPHE group and by 43% in the PPPD group (p < 0.01).Both procedures are equally effective in terms of pain relief and definitive control of complications affecting adjacent organs, but extended drainage by LPJ-LPHE provides a better quality of life.