Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy: which factors are related to open conversion? Lessons learned from 68 consecutive procedures in a high-volume pancreatic center

  • Riccardo Casadei
  • Claudio Ricci
  • Carlo Alberto Pacilio
  • Carlo Ingaldi
  • Giovanni Taffurelli
  • Francesco Minni



Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy represents a difficult surgical procedure with an high conversion rate to open procedure. The factors related to its difficulty and conversion to open distal pancreatectomy were rarely reported. The aim of the present study was to identify which factors are related to conversion from laparoscopic to open distal pancreatectomy.


A retrospective study of a prospective database of 68 patients who underwent laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy was conducted at a high-volume center by pancreatic surgeons experienced with laparoscopic surgery. Pre-intra and postoperative data were collected. Patients who completed a laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy were compared with those who needed a conversion to the open approach as regard demographic, clinical, radiological, and surgical data. Univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out.


Univariate analysis suggested that the site of the lesion, the extension of pancreatic resection, and the requirement for an extended procedure to adjacent organs were significantly associated with the risk of conversion to the open approach. Multivariate analysis showed that only the extension of the pancreatic resection (subtotal pancreatectomy) was significantly related to the odds of conversion [odds ratio (OR) 19.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–32.3; P = 0.038]. Preoperative suspicion of malignancy differed between the two groups; however, this difference did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.078).


Despite the limitations of the study, only the extension of pancreatic resection seemed to be the main factor related to conversion during laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy.


Pancreas Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy Open distal pancreatectomy Conversion Pancreatic resection 


Compliance with ethical standards


Riccardo Casadei, Claudio Ricci, Carlo Alberto Pacilio, Carlo Ingaldi, Giovanni Taffurelli, and Francesco Minni declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Casadei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claudio Ricci
    • 1
  • Carlo Alberto Pacilio
    • 1
  • Carlo Ingaldi
    • 1
  • Giovanni Taffurelli
    • 1
  • Francesco Minni
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche (DIMEC)Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Policlinico S.Orsola-MalpighiBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche (DIMEC), Chirurgia Generale-Prof. MinniAlma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Policlinico S.Orsola-MalpighiBolognaItaly

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