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Laparoscopic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy with and without splenic vessel preservation: the role of the Warshaw procedure.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Laparoscopic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy (LSPDP) for low-grade malignant pancreas tumors was recently demonstrated. Although the procedure with splenic vessel preservation (SVP) is optimal for LSPDP, SVP is not always possible in patients with a large tumor or a tumor attached to splenic vessels. This study aimed to analyze the safety of two procedures: LSPDP without SVP, known as the Warshaw technique (lap-WT), and LSPDP with SVP (lap-SVP).

METHODS: Seventeen patients who underwent a lap-WT and seven patients who underwent a lap-SVP were investigated retrospectively.

RESULTS: The median follow-up duration was 45 (range 17-105) months. In the lap-WT and lap-SVP patients, the sizes of the tumors were 5 (1.3-12) and 1.5 (1-4) cm; the operative times were 304 (168-512) and 319 (238-387) min; the blood loss was 210 (5-3250) and 60 (9-210) gr; the length of the postoperative hospital stay was 15 (8-29) and 18 (5-24) days; the peak platelet counts were 37.2 (14.6-65.2) and 26.4 (18.8-41) × 10(4)/μL, and splenomegaly was observed in 10 (59%) and three (43%) patients, respectively. In both procedures, there was no local recurrence. In the lap-WT group, splenic infarctions were seen in four (24%) patients and perigastric varices were seen in two (12%) patients. All of these patients were observed conservatively.

CONCLUSIONS: Both the lap-WT and lap-SVP were found to be safe and effective, and in cases in which the tumor is relatively large or close to the splenic vessels, lap-WT can be used as the more appropriate procedure.

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