Background: Laparoscopic resection of benign pancreatic endocrine neoplasms (PENs) has become the standard of care for tumors in the pancreatic tail. Over a 14-year period, we have resected both benign and malignant tumors of the entire pancreas laparoscopically and compared our survival and complication rates with open controls.
Materials and methods: We collected our data retrospectively and reviewed our outcomes with an actuarial 5-year survival according to Kaplan-Meier. Patients who underwent minimally invasive techniques were compared to patients who were approached with open techniques.
Results: From April 1992 to September 2006, we operated on 31 patients for PENs: 13 (42%) were operated on using open techniques and 18 (58%) laparoscopically, and conversion occurred in one patient (6%). In the laparoscopic group, eight (47%) tumors were malignant compared to six (43%) in the open group. Operative times averaged 188 min for the minimally invasive approach and 305 min for the open approach (p = 0.02). Length of stay was 25 days (range 8-82) for the laparoscopic group compared to 20 days (range 6-63; p > 0.05). Overall morbidity and fistula rates ranged from 67 to 24% in the laparoscopic group to 69 to 38% in the open group (p > 0.05). There were no postoperative mortalities. The average follow-up was 63 months for the open group and 33 months for the laparoscopic group. The overall actuarial survival rates were both 90% at 5 years.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic resection of benign and malignant PENs has similar overall complication and 5-year survival rates as the open technique; however, the laparoscopic approach is associated with shorter operative times.