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Splenic preservation in laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy. BJS 2017; 104: 452-462.

Published: 22nd December 2016

Authors: M.‐H. Dai, N. Shi, C. Xing, Q. Liao, T.‐P. Zhang, G. Chen et al.


Laparoscopic spleen‐preserving distal pancreatectomy (LSPDP) is designed principally for the removal of benign and low‐grade malignant lesions in the left pancreas. The aims of this study were to compare LSPDP with laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy (LDPS), compare two splenic preservation techniques (splenic vessel preservation and Warshaw technique) and investigate factors that influence splenic preservation.


Information from patients who underwent laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy between December 2004 and January 2016 at a single institution was reviewed. Data were extracted from a prospectively developed database. Intention‐to‐treat and propensity score matching analyses were employed. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to investigate factors affecting splenic preservation.


There were 206 patients in total (126 planned LSPDP and 80 planned LDPS procedures), of whom 108 underwent LSPDP and 98 LDPS. In intention‐to‐treat analysis, the duration of surgery was significantly shorter in the LSPDP group than in the LDPS group (mean 191·0 versus 220·5 min respectively; P < 0·001). Tumour size was an independent risk factor for splenic vessel resection in planned splenic vessel preservation operations, and a cut‐off value of 3 cm provided optimal diagnostic accuracy. After a median follow‐up of 35·9 months, there were no clinically significant splenic infarctions and no patient developed gastrointestinal bleeding after LSPDP.


Planned LSPDP had a high splenic preservation rate and was associated with significantly shorter operating time than LDPS. Splenic vessel preservation could be predicted using a tumour cut‐off size of 3 cm.

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