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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2012 September;58(3):239-52

language: English

Current status of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy

Rosales-Velderrain A., Stauffer J. A., Bowers S. P., Asbun H. J.

Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA


Distal pancreatectomy is the therapeutic option of choice for patients with a benign or malignant lesion located in the body and/or tail of the pancreas when surgical intervention is indicated. With recent advances in and wide spread use of imaging studies, lesions of the pancreas are being diagnosed more commonly and it is likely that this will translate into an increased number of patients undergoing surgical resection. The laparoscopic approach to pancreatic resections has not been adopted as rapidly as it has for most other general surgical procedures. This is despite the fact that the current literature appears to validate laparoscopy as an acceptable and safe approach for distal pancreatectomy in patients with benign lesions, and has demonstrated the known benefits inherent to the laparoscopic technique. These benefits include lower intraoperative blood loss, less pain and analgesic requirements, earlier return of bowel function, and shorter recovery and hospital stay. Yet controversy still exists for the role of laparoscopy in the resection of malignant lesions. Recent reports however, have shown that laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy can safely be performed in known malignancies and, most importantly, after a laparoscopic oncological resection, the oncological benchmarks that have been related to survival, (such as negative surgical margins and number of peripancreatic lymph nodes resected), can also be accomplished. We sought to review the current literature on distal pancreatectomy, specifically the indications, laparoscopic approaches, splenectomy and spleen-preserving techniques, intraoperative and short-term outcomes, morbidity, mortality and oncological outcomes.

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