Laparoscopic approach for solitary insulinoma: a multicentre study
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- Ayav, A., Bresler, L., Brunaud, L. et al. Langenbecks Arch Surg (2005) 390: 134. doi:10.1007/s00423-004-0526-3
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Surgical resection of insulinomas is the preferred treatment in order to avoid symptoms of hypoglycaemia. During the past years, advances in laparoscopic techniques have allowed surgeons to approach the pancreas and treat these lesions laparoscopically. We analysed the feasibility, safety, and outcome of patients undergoing laparoscopic resection of insulinomas in a large, retrospective, multicentre study.
Thirty-six patients with pancreatic insulinomas were enrolled in this study. All patients were suspected of having solitary insulinomas after preoperative localisation tests and underwent a laparoscopic approach. Patients, operating characteristics and outcome were analysed.
Mean patient age was 48 years (range 20–77 years). Insulinomas were localised in the head (n=7), isthmus (n=2), body (n=14) or tail (n=13) of the pancreas before laparoscopic approach. Mean size of the lesions was 15.5 mm (range 4–25 mm). The surgical procedure was enucleation in 19 cases (52%), spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy in 12 cases (33%), spleno-pancreatectomy in three cases (8%), one duodenopancreatectomy and one central pancreatectomy. Conversion rate was 30%. The reason for conversion in seven patients (63%) was the inability to localise the tumour during the laparoscopic procedure. In six of these cases laparoscopic ultrasonography was not performed. Mean operating time was 156 min (range 50–420 min). Postoperative course was uneventful in 23 patients (64%). Eleven patients (30%) developed specific complications of pancreatic surgery: intra-abdominal abscess (n=6) or pancreatico-cutaneous fistula (n=5). Mean duration of fistulae was 55 days (range 5–130 days) and all the fistulae were dry at follow-up. After a mean follow-up period of 26 months (range 2–87 months), 33 patients (91%) are free of symptoms, and three patients have been lost to follow-up.
The laparoscopic approach is safe to treat preoperatively localised insulinoma, with a morbidity rate comparable to that for the open approach. When the tumour is not found during laparoscopy, laparoscopic ultrasonography seems to be the most efficient tool to localise it and probably to prevent conversion.