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A Journal on Surgery


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Minerva Chirurgica 2015 December;70(6):437-50

language: English

Minimally invasive pancreatic surgery

Yiannakopoulou E.

Department of Medical Laboratories, Faculty of Health and Caring Professions, Highest Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece


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Minimally invasive pancreatic surgery is feasible and safe. Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy should be widely adopted for benign lesions of the pancreas. Laparoscopic pancreaticoduodenectomy, although technically demanding, in the setting of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has a number of advantages including shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, allowing patients to recover in a timelier manner and pursue adjuvant treatment options. Furthermore, it seems that progression-free survival is longer in patients undergoing laparoscopic pancreaticoduodenectomy in comparison with those undergoing open pancreaticoduodenectomy. Minimally invasive middle pancreatectomy seems appropriate for benign or borderline tumors of the neck of the pancreas. Technological advances including intraoperative ultrasound and intraoperative fluorescence imaging systems are expected to facilitate the wide adoption of minimally invasive pancreatic surgery. Although, the oncological outcome seems similar with that of open surgery, there are still concerns, as the majority of relevant evidence comes from retrospective studies. Large multicenter randomized studies comparing laparoscopic with open pancreatectomy as well as robotic assisted with both open and laparoscopic approaches are needed. Robotic approach could be possibly shown to be less invasive than conventional laparoscopic approach through the less traumatic intra-abdominal handling of tissues. In addition, robotic approach could enable the wide adoption of the technique by surgeon who is not that trained in advanced laparoscopic surgery. A putative clinical benefit of minimally invasive pancreatic surgery could be the attenuated surgical stress response leading to reduced morbidity and mortality as well as lack of the detrimental immunosuppressive effect especially for the oncological patients.

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