Background: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) account for 1-2% of all pancreatic neoplasms. Nonfunctioning PNETs (NF-PNETs) account for 60-90% of all PNETs. Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) is becoming the treatment of choice for benign lesions in the body and tail of the pancreas. However, LDP has not yet been widely accepted as the gold standard for NF-PNETs. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the clinical and oncologic outcomes after laparoscopic versus open distal pancreatectomy (ODP) for NF-PNETs.
Methods: Between April 1995 and September 2016, 94 patients with NF-PNETs underwent open or laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy at Samsung Medical Center. Patients were divided into two groups: those who underwent LDP and those who underwent ODP. Both groups were compared in terms of clinical and oncologic variables.
Results: LDP patients had a significantly shorter hospital stay compared with ODP patients, amounting to a mean difference of 2 days (p < 0.001). Overall complication rates did not differ significantly between the ODP and LDP groups (p = 0.379). The 3-year overall survival rates in the ODP and LDP groups were 93.7 and 100%, respectively (p = 0.069).
Conclusions: In this study, LDP for NF-PNETs had similar oncologic outcomes compared with ODP. In addition, LDP was associated with a shorter hospital stay compared with ODP. Therefore, LDP is a safe and effective procedure for patients with NF-PNETs. A multicenter study and a randomized controlled trial are needed to better assess the clinical and oncologic outcomes.
Keywords: Distal pancreatectomy; Laparoscopy; Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor.