Eleven patients with a preoperative diagnosis of adenoma of the papillae of Vater were followed up during the fifteen-year period from 1984 till 1998 in the Oulu University Hospital. Seven patients were treated primarily by transduodenal excision without any recurrences so far. One of these seven patients was found to have adenocarcinoma in a histological examination. Active surgery for adenoma of the papillae of Vater is recommended because of the precancerous nature of the lesion, and because malignancy cannot always be detected by endoscopic biopsies. Transduodenal excision could be recommend for patients at high operative risk, especially in cases with small adenomas and low-grade dysplasia, where histologically free resection margins can be achieved, but pancreaticoduodenectomy should still be performed on patients at low operative risk.