Background: Pancreaticoduodenectomy and distal pancreatectomy for lesions of the neck or body of the pancreas sacrifice a large amount of normal pancreatic tissue. Middle pancreatectomy (MP) is a parenchyma sparing technique that reduces the risk of postoperative endocrine and exocrine insufficiency. This study aims to evaluate the perioperative and long-term results of MP and to clarify whether MP can be performed with outcomes comparable with traditional pancreatectomies.
Method: Twenty-six patients who underwent MP for benign or low-grade malignant tumor of the pancreas between 1991 and 2006 at the Department of Surgery II, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, were identified. Their outcomes were compared with 2 separate control groups, 35 left-side pancreatectomies (LSP) and 60 right-side pancreatectomies (RSP).
Results: The mean operating time of the MP group was 295 minutes, which was significantly shorter than that for RSP (P=.0001). The rate of pancreatic fistula formation was higher in the MP group than in the 2 control groups, although the differences did not reach statistical significance. After a mean follow-up of 71 months, postoperative endocrine function was equivalent to the pre-operative values in the MP group, and none of the patients developed diabetes mellitus postoperatively. Only 1 patient in the MP group required enzyme substitution postoperatively for exocrine insufficiency. The MP group was inclined to be superior to the other 2 control groups in terms of postoperative nutritional status.
Conclusion: Middle pancreatectomy is a reasonable technique that is indicated for selected patients with benign or low malignant tumors in the neck and body of the pancreas. Middle pancreatectomy seems to result in better preservation of exocrine and endocrine functions as well as in better nutritional status postoperatively.
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