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Author Notes:

Email Address:David A. Kooby : dkooby@emory.edu

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Research Funding:

This work was funded in part by the Katz Foundation.


  • Laparoscopy
  • adenocarcinoma
  • pancreatic neoplasm
  • distal pancreatectomy
  • outcomes

Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy for adenocarcinoma: safe and reasonable?


Journal Title:

Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology


Volume 6, Number 4


, Pages 406-417

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


As a result of technological advances during the past two decades, surgeons now use minimally invasive surgery (MIS) approaches to pancreatic resection more frequently, yet the role of these approaches for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma resections remains uncertain, given the aggressive nature of this malignancy. Although there are no controlled trials comparing MIS technique to open surgical technique, laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma is performed with increasing frequency. Data from retrospective studies suggest that perioperative complication profiles between open and laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy are similar, with perhaps lower blood loss and fewer wound infections in the MIS group. Concerning oncologic outcomes, there appear to be no differences in the rate of achieving negative margins or in the number of lymph nodes (LNs) resected when compared to open surgery. There are limited recurrence and survival data on laparoscopic compared to open distal pancreatectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, but in the few studies that assess long term outcomes, recurrence rates and survival outcomes appear similar. Recent studies show that though laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy entails a greater operative cost, the associated shorter length of hospital stay leads to decreased overall cost compared to open procedures. Multiple new technologies are emerging to improve resection of pancreatic cancer. Robotic pancreatectomy is feasible, but there are limited data on robotic resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and outcomes appear similar to laparoscopic approaches. Additionally fluorescence-guided surgery represents a new technology on the horizon that could improve oncologic outcomes after resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, though published data thus far are limited to animal models. Overall, MIS distal pancreatectomy appears to be a safe and reasonable approach to treating selected patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, though additional studies of long-term oncologic outcomes are merited. We review existing data on MIS distal pancreatectomy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Copyright information:

2015 Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology.

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