Special Topic Issue: Digestive Surgery 1996, Vol. 13, No. 2 Surgical treatment of chronic pancreatitis has recently evolved to a new stage of development. Improved imaging techniques have facilitated the development of surgical procedures which are tailored to the predominant structural abnormalities of the pancreas. In this special issue, a panel of international experts present the state of the art of surgery for chronic pancreatitis. The principal indication for surgical intervention is intractable pain. Both established and more recently developed procedures for pancreatic resection and drainage of the main pancreatic duct or pseudocysts receive thorough coverage. Special attention is given to the newer procedures which aim to remove the lesion primarily responsible for symptoms while preserving maximum residual pancreatic function as well as the integrity of adjacent organs. Evaluating the effectiveness of each technique and indicating where further clinical research is required, this issue will be a valuable guide for all surgeons concerned with chronic pancreatitis.