The main aims of surgery for treating chronic pancreatitis are to relieve the patient's persistent pain and to preserve pancreatic functioning. The indications for surgery include treating complications, such as the presence of pancreatic pseudocysts or biliary stenosis associated with chronic pancreatitis or both. A resection, ductal drainage, or both, may commonly be required. Furthermore, some surgeons recommend pancreatic denervation. We analyze the details of 2,936 patients with chronic pancreatitis who were treated surgically and were listed in the 1985 National Statistics in Japan. We have also evaluated the present surgical methods for treating chronic pancreatitis in Japan. In addition, we discuss a new surgical method being used to treat chronic pancreatitis. This is a recently improved technique involving a complete duodenum-preserving resection of the head of the pancreas, which also preserves the biliary and alimentary tracts.