Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy for pancreatic cancer is safe and effective

Marita D. Bauman, David G. Becerra, E. Molly Kilbane, Nicholas Zyromski, C. Schmidt, Henry A. Pitt, Attila Nakeeb, Michael House, Eugene P. Ceppa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the short-term and oncologic outcomes of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) undergoing laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) and open distal pancreatectomy (ODP). Methods: Consecutive cases of distal pancreatectomy (DP) (n = 422) were reviewed at a single high-volume institution over a 10-year period (2005–2014). Inclusion criteria consisted of any patient with PDAC by surgical pathology. Ninety-day outcomes were monitored through a prospectively maintained pancreatic resection database. The Social Security Death Index was used for 5-year survival. Two-way statistical analyses were used to compare categories; variance was reported with standard error of the mean; * indicates P value <0.05. Results: Seventy-nine patients underwent DP for PDAC. Thirty-three underwent LDP and 46 ODP. There were no statistical differences in demographics, BMI, and ASA classification. Intraoperative and surgical pathology variables were comparable for LDP versus ODP: operative time (3.9 ± 0.2 vs. 4.2 ± 0.2 h), duct size, gland texture, stump closure, tumor size (3.3 ± 0.3 vs. 4.0 ± 0.4 cm), lymph node harvest (14.5 ± 1.1 vs. 17.5 ± 1.2), tumor stage (see table), and negative surgical margins (77 vs. 87%). Patients who underwent LDP experienced lower blood loss (310 ± 68 vs. 597 ± 95 ml; P = 0.016*) and required fewer transfusions (0 vs. 13; P = 0.0008*). Patients who underwent LDP had fewer positive lymph nodes (0.8 ± 0.2 vs. 1.6 ± 0.3; P = 0.04*) and a lower incidence of type C pancreatic fistula (0 vs. 13%; P = 0.03*). Median follow-up for all patients was 11.4 months. Long-term oncologic outcomes revealed similar outcomes including distant or local recurrence (30 vs. 52%; P = 0.05) and median survival (18 vs. 15 months), as well as 1-year (73 vs. 59%), 3-year (22 vs. 21%), and 5-year (20 vs. 15%) survival for LDP and ODP, respectively. Conclusions: The results of this series suggest that LDP is a safe surgical approach that is comparable from an oncologic standpoint to ODP for the management of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
StateAccepted/In press - Jun 22 2017


  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Laparoscopic
  • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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