Laparoscopic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy: comparative study of spleen preservation with splenic vessel resection and splenic vessel preservation

Zun Qiang Zhou, Song Cheol Kim, Ki Byung Song, Kwang-Min Park, Jae Hoon Lee, Young-Joo Lee
World Journal of Surgery 2014, 38 (11): 2973-9

BACKGROUND: Spleen-preserving laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (SPLDP) can be performed with splenic vessel resection (SVR) or splenic vessel preservation (SVP). The purpose of this comparative study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent SPLDP with SVR or SVP at a single institution.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 246 patients who underwent SPLDP at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea, for benign or low-grade malignant tumors found in the body or tail of the pancreas between November 2005 and November 2011.

RESULTS: In total, 206 patients (83.7 %) were managed by SVP. SVR was performed in the remaining 40 (16.3 %) cases. There were no significant differences between the SVP and SVR groups in terms of intraoperative blood loss (378 ± 240 vs. 328 ± 204 ml, respectively; P = 0.240) and operating time (193.4 ± 59.1 vs. 204.4 ± 51.8 min, respectively; P = 0.492). Sixty-seven (32.5 %) and 10 patients (25 %) had complications in the SVP and SVR groups, respectively (P = 0.347). At 3 days after surgery, the rates of splenic infarction were 16.0 % (33/206) in the SVP group and 52.5 % (21/40) in the SVR group, but all recovered within 12 months on postoperative computed tomography. The time of recovery from splenic infarction was 3.6 ± 3.1 and 4.7 ± 3.7 months in the SVP and SVR groups, respectively. At 6 months, the rates of gastric varices were 1.9 % in the SVP group and 35 % in the SVR group (P < 0.001) with no progression at 12 months. No gastrointestinal bleeding occurred at a median follow-up of 34 months (range = 12-84).

CONCLUSIONS: SPLDP with SVR can be used for patients with large and benign or low-grade malignant tumors that distort and compress vessel course, as the higher rate of early splenic ischemia and perigastric varices is acceptable.

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