Robotic total pancreatectomy with splenectomy: technique and outcomes

Surg Endosc. 2018 Aug;32(8):3691-3696. doi: 10.1007/s00464-017-6003-1. Epub 2017 Dec 22.


Background: Robotic total pancreatectomy (TP) represents a minimally invasive approach to a major intra-abdominal operation. Its utility, technique, and outcomes are evolving.

Methods: In this video, we describe a systematic approach to a robotic total pancreatectomy performed for multifocal intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN). Additionally, we reviewed the National Cancer Database (NCDB) to examine the outcomes of robotic TP compared to laparoscopic and open TP between 2010 and 2014.

Results: The patient is a 61-year-old female who was diagnosed with multifocal IPMN. A total of 6 robotic ports were placed and the da Vinci Xi robotic system was used with the patient supine. The approach entailed as follows: (1) Diagnostic laparoscopy; (2) Entry into the lesser sac; (3) Division of the short gastric vessels; (4) Exposure and dissection of the inferior pancreas border; (5) Dissection and transection of the splenic artery; (6) Mobilization of the pancreas tail/spleen; (7) Exposure of the splenic vein-superior mesenteric vein confluence; (8) Kocher maneuver; (9) Release of the ligament of Treitz and transection of the proximal jejunum; (10) Transection of the distal stomach; (11) Portal lymphadenectomy; (12) Dissection and transection of the gastroduodenal artery; (13) Superior mesenteric vein exposure/dissection of the uncinate process; (14) Hepaticojejunostomy; (15) Cholecystectomy; and (16) Gastrojejunostomy. NCDB database review of 73 patients who underwent robotic TP revealed similar rates of margin negative resections and retrieved lymph nodes between robotic, laparoscopic, and open TP, whereas robotic and laparoscopic TP were associated with shorter in-hospital stay and reduced mortality at 30 and 90 days compared to open TP. Overall median survival of pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients who underwent TP was similar between robotic, laparoscopic, and open approaches.

Conclusion: Robotic total pancreatectomy with splenectomy offers a minimally invasive approach to a major abdominal operation and is feasible in a stepwise, reproducible technique. It is associated with improved postoperative outcomes and equivalent oncologic outcomes compared to open TP.

Keywords: National cancer database; Postoperative outcomes; Robotic total pancreatectomy.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatectomy / methods*
  • Pancreatic Intraductal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Splenectomy / methods*