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ITALIAN JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY
A Journal on Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Giornale Italiano di Chirurgia Vascolare 2000 December;7(4):317-25
language: English, Italian
Simultaneous treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm and cancer of the pancreas
Raso A. M., Rispoli P., Conforti M., Robecchi A., Varetto G., Barile G.
From the Faculty of Vascular Surgery Department of Medicine and Surgery II Faculty of Surgical Medicine Turin University, Turin, Italy
The case is reported of a patient in whom an abdominal aortic aneurysm was encountered by pure chance during radiological examinations for cancer of the pancreatic body and tail. Both conditions were treated simultaneously by the implantation of an aortoaortic prosthesis and a distal pancreasectomy with the patient’s informed consent after a detailed discussion of his highly unusual case. The present paper discusses the surgical approach which involved first resecting the aneurysm and then performing a distal pancreasectomy, the validity of the indication to surgery and the ethical aspects of the case. The ethical question is whether a patient with such a poor life expectancy given the nature of his cancer should have been subjected to the aortoaortic graft procedure or whether it would not have been more appropriate to operate on the pancreas alone and let the aneurysm take its course which may be presumed to have culminated in a rupture followed by the patient's decease.