Background: Pancreatoduodenectomy is one of the most complex abdominal operations, usually performed for tumors of the periampullary region and chronic pancreatitis. Leakage of pancreatic juice from the pancreatoenteric anastomosis, called postoperative pancreatic fistula, is the most prominent postoperative complication. Retrospective studies show a significant reduction of fistula rates with pancreatogastrostomy as compared to pancreatojejunostomy, the most frequently employed method of pancreatoenterostomy. Most single-center prospective trials, however, have not validated this finding. A large multicenter trial is needed for clarification.Methods/design: RECOPANC is a prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter trial with two treatment arms, pancreatogastrostomy versus pancreatojejunostomy. The trial hypothesis is that postoperative pancreatic fistula rate is lower after pancreatogastrostomy when compared to pancreatojejunostomy. Fourteen academic centers for pancreatic surgery will participate to allocate 360 patients to the trial. The duration of the entire trial is four years including prearrangement and analyses.Discussion: Postoperative pancreatic fistula is the main reason for clinically important postoperative morbidity after pancreatoduodenectomy. The primary goal of the chosen reconstruction technique for pancreatoenteric anastomosis is to minimize postoperative fistula rate. A randomized trial performed at multiple high-volume centers for pancreatic surgery is the best opportunity to investigate one of the most crucial issues in pancreatic surgery.Trial registration: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00000767 (2011/03/23), FSI 2011/05/31. Universal Trial Number U1111-1117-9588.