Velanovich, V. Surg Endosc (2004) 18: 310. doi:10.1007/s00464-003-8909-z
Background: Staging laparoscopy (SL) has been used to assess resectability of patients with pancreatic cancer. It has lead to increased resectability rates and decreased morbidity. However, experimental data suggests that laparoscopy and peritoneal insufflation can promote tumor growth and potential recurrence. Few clinical data exist to allow assessment of whether these theoretical concerns translate into clinical problems. The purpose of this study was to determine if SL increases the incidence of trocar-site and peritoneal recurrence of pancreatic cancer. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients evaluated for pancreatic cancer from 1996 to 2001, inclusive, was included in this study. Patients were divided into five groups: nonoperative management (NM), SL followed by resection (SL-R), SL without resection (SL-NR), exploratory laparotomy with resection (EL-R), and exploratory laparotomy without resection (EL-NR). Patient records were assessed for postoperative occurrence of carcinomatosis and/or malignant ascites, trocar- or incisional-site recurrence, use of postoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and survival. Results: A total of 235 patients were included. Peritoneal progression of disease: NM 15.9%, SL 24.2%, EL 31.6% (p = 0.03). Trocar/incisional recurrence: SL 3.0%, EL 3.9% (p = NS). Use of chemotherapy/radiotherapy: NM 29.4%, SL-R 76.5%, SL-NR 62.5%, EL-R 69.6%, EL-NR 41.5%. Median survival (months): NM 3; SL-R 15, EL-R 10 (p = NS); SL-NR 6, EL-NR 5 (p = NS). Conclusion: SL does not increase the occurrence of trocar-site disease or peritoneal disease progression of pancreatic cancer. Patients who are found not to be resectable by SL are more likely to receive postoperative treatment. However, this does not appear to affect survival greatly. Nevertheless, avoidance of nontherapeutic laparotomy is worthwhile in these patients.
Pancreatic cancer Staging laparoscopy Exploratory laparotomy Cancer recurrence