Background: A combination of digital palpation and ultrasonography plays an important role in locating insulinomas intraoperatively. Laparoscopic resection of insulinomas has been described recently, but experience in locating insulinomas during laparoscopy is lacking.
Methods: From January 1998 to January 1999, three patients with pancreatic insulinomas underwent laparoscopy and laparoscopic ultrasonography aimed at intraoperative localization and potential resection. The role of laparoscopy and laparoscopic ultrasonography in locating insulinomas is evaluated.
Results: Preoperative localization studies were routinely performed, and two patients had an occult tumor before laparoscopy. None of the tumors was detected by laparoscopic examination, but laparoscopic ultrasonography identified solitary tumors located at the body and tail of the pancreas. Conversion to laparotomy was performed in one patient as a planned procedure. One patient underwent laparoscopic enucleation, whereas the other had a laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic ultrasonography seems to be sensitive in locating insulinomas at the body and tail of the pancreas. It optimizes and facilitates resection of insulinomas through a minimally invasive approach.