Background: Laparoscopic resection is not an established treatment for tumors of the pancreas. We report our preliminary experience with this innovative approach to pancreatic disease. Methods: Thirty two patients with pancreatic disease were included in the study on an intention-to-treat basis. The preoperative indications for surgery were as follows: neuroendocrine tumors (n=13), unspecified tumors (n=11), cysts (n=2), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura with ectopic spleen (n=2), annular pancreas (n=1), trauma (n=1), aneurysm of the splenic artery (n=1), and adenocarcinoma (n=1). Results: Enucleations (n=7) and distal pancreatectomy with (n=12) and without splenectomy (n=5) were performed. Three patients underwent laparoscopic exploration only. Four procedures (13%) were converted to an open technique. One resection was converted to a hand-assisted procedure. The mortality rate for patients undergoing laparoscopic resection was 8.3% (two of 24). Complications occurred after resection in nine of 24 procedures (38%). The median hospital stay was 5.5 days (range, 2–22). Postoperatively, opioid medication was given for a median of 2 days (range, 0–13). Conclusion: Resection of the pancreas can be performed safely via the laparoscopic approach with all the potential benefits to the patients of minimally invasive surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery Pancreas Short-term outcome Pancreatectomy
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