Background: The use of a laparoscopic approach in the treatment of insulinomas is increasing. This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the authors' experience with laparoscopic surgery for benign pancreatic insulinomas and to compare the results for a laparoscopic approach versus an open approach.
Methods: From January 2000 to December 2009, data were collected retrospectively from 89 patients who underwent resection of pancreatic insulinoma via either laparoscopy (n = 43) or laparotomy (n = 46). Clinical data, tumor features, and intra- and postoperative characteristics were analyzed.
Results: The operation time, blood loss, and complication rate did not differ significantly between the laparoscopic and open approach groups. In the laparoscopic group, the time required to achieve recovery of gastrointestinal function and postoperative oral intake was significantly shorter in the laparotomy group, as was the hospital stay. By the end of the follow-up period, 85 (95.5%) of the 89 patients were symptom free.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic surgery is a safe procedure for patients with benign insulinomas. The complication rates are comparable with those for laparotomy procedures. Relative to open operations, laparoscopic pancreas operations are associated with a more rapid postoperative recovery.