JOURNAL ARTICLE

The value of splenic preservation with distal pancreatectomy

Margo Shoup, Murray F Brennan, Kertrisa McWhite, Denis H Y Leung, David Klimstra, Kevin C Conlon
Archives of Surgery 2002, 137 (2): 164-8
11822953

HYPOTHESIS: Splenic-preserving distal pancreatectomy for benign or low-grade malignant disease is associated with decreased perioperative morbidity compared with conventional distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy.

DESIGN: A retrospective review of a prospective database of patients.

SETTING: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

PATIENTS: All patients (N = 211) undergoing distal pancreatectomy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Perioperative complications, length of postoperative stay, and overall survival times were analyzed.

RESULTS: After excluding patients with adenocarcinoma and those who had other major organ resection, 125 patients underwent distal pancreatectomy for benign or low-grade malignant disease with splenectomy (n = 79) or splenic preservation (n = 46). Perioperative complications occurred in 39 (49%) of the 79 patients following splenectomy and 18 (39%) of the 46 patients following splenic preservation (P =.21). Perioperative infectious complications and severe complications were significantly higher in the splenectomy group (28% and 11%) compared with the splenic preservation group (9% and 2%) (P =.01 and.05), respectively. Length of hospital stay was 9 days (range, 5-41 days) following splenectomy and 7 days (range, 5-26 days) following splenic preservation (P<.01). No difference in length of surgery, units of blood transfused, or perioperative mortality was noted between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Splenic preservation following distal pancreatectomy for benign or low-grade malignant disease is safe and is associated with a reduction in perioperative infectious complications, severe complications, and length of hospital stay compared with conventional distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy. Therefore, splenic preservation should be considered in this group of patients.

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