, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 517-523

Results of a pancreatectomy with a limited venous resection for pancreatic cancer

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Abstract

Purpose

The indications for a pancreatectomy with a partial resection of the portal or superior mesenteric vein for pancreatic cancer, when the vein is involved by the tumor, remain controversial. It can be assumed that when such involvement is not extensive, resection of the tumor and the involved venous segment, followed by venous reconstruction will extend the potential benefits of this resection to a larger number of patients. The further hypothesis of this study is that whenever involvement of the vein by the tumor does not exceed 2 cm in length, this involvement is more likely due to the location of the tumor being close to the vein rather than because of its aggressive biological behavior. Consequently, in these instances a pancreatectomy with a resection of the involved segment of portal or superior mesenteric vein for pancreatic cancer is indicated, as it will yield results that are superposable to those of a pancreatectomy for cancer without vascular involvement.

Methods

Twenty-nine patients with carcinoma of the pancreas involving the portal or superior mesenteric vein over a length of 2 cm or less underwent a macroscopically curative resection of the pancreas en bloc with the involved segment of the vein. The venous reconstruction procedures included a tangential resection/lateral suture in 15 cases, a resection/end-to-end anastomosis in 11, and a resection/patch closure in 3.

Results

Postoperative mortality was 3.4%; morbidity was 21%. Local recurrence was 14%. Cumulative (standard error) survival rate was 17% (9%) at 3 years.

Conclusion

A pancreatectomy combined with a resection of the portal or superior mesenteric vein for cancer with venous involvement not exceeding 2 cm is indicated in order to extend the potential benefits of a curative resection.