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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2011 August;66(4):269-80

language: English

Minimally invasive pancreatic surgery of the entire gland: initial experience

Gumbs A. A. 1, Rodriguez-Rivera A. M. 2, Hoffman J. P. 3

1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Summit Medical Group, Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA;
2 Department of Surgery, Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA;
3 Department of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA


Many pancreatic cancer surgeons have been slow to adopt minimally invasive pancreatic surgery (MIPS) due a lack of formalized minimally invasive training and the perceived difficulty in dissecting pancreatic tumors and tissue away from the superior mesenteric vessels and consequent concerns for adequacy of oncologic margins and lymph node retrieval. A review of the first 29 MIPS procedures for malignant and premalignant tumors of the pancreas with the aid of a sterilizeable robotically-controlled camera holder was undertaken. As opposed to other robots currently available, this device allows for hand-assistance by the operating surgeon. Fourteen minimally invasive distal pancreatectomies (MIDP) (10 laparoscopic, 3 hand-assisted, 1 converted to open), 13 MIPDs (6 laparoscopic, 5 hand-assisted, 2 converted to open), and 2 laparoscopic central pancreatectomies have been performed. Seventeen (59%) of these patients were treated for cancer. Of these, 11 underwent a MIPD and 6 a MIDP. There were postoperative complications in seven patients (24%) at 30 days. Thirty and 90 day mortality was 3%. A sterilizeable robotically-controlled laparoscope holder that enables the operating surgeon to remain in contact with the patient and have the option of a hand-assisted approach may be particularly helpful for minimally invasive approaches to malignant and premalignant pancreatic tumors.

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