Background: Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) has proven advantages over its open counterpart and is becoming more frequently performed around the world. It still remains a difficult operation due to the retroperitoneal location of the pancreas and limited experience and training with the procedure. In addition, complications such as bleeding or postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) remain a problem. A standardized approach to LDP with stepwise graded compression technique for pancreatic transection has been utilized at a single center, and we sought to describe the technique and determine the outcomes. Methods: A review of all patients undergoing LDP by a clockwise approach including the graded compression technique from August 1, 2008 to December 31, 2017 was performed. An external audit was performed by the Dutch Pancreatic Cancer Group. Results: Overall, 260 patients with a mean age and a BMI of 62.3 and 28, respectively, underwent LDP using this technique. Mean operative time and blood loss were 183 min and 248 mL, respectively,. Hand-assisted method and conversion to open were both 5%. Major morbidity and mortality were 9.2% and 0.4%, respectively,. POPF was noted in 8.1%. The technical steps include (1) mobilization of the splenic flexure of the colon and exposure of the pancreas, (2) dissection along the inferior edge of the pancreas and choosing the site for pancreatic division, (3) pancreatic parenchymal division using a progressive stepwise compression technique with staple line reinforcement, (4) ligation of the splenic vein and artery, (5) dissection along the superior edge of the pancreas and residual posterior attachments, and (6) mobilization of the spleen and specimen removal. Conclusion: LDP with a clockwise approach for dissection, combined with the progressive stepwise compression technique for pancreatic transection, resulted in excellent outcomes including a very low POPF rate.
- Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy