The Straightened Splenic Vessels Method Improves Surgical Outcomes of Laparoscopic Distal Pancreatectomy

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Background: In laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP), isolating the splenic artery and vein requires advanced techniques. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a novel method termed the ‘straightened splenic vessels' (SSV) method for isolating the splenic vessels in LDP. Methods: In SSV, to adjust the instrument axis, the splenic artery was straightened by grasping 2 points of its nerve sheath. Then, the layer between the splenic artery's nerve sheath and the pancreatic parenchyma was dissected. Next, the pancreas was mobilized from body to tail, and the splenic vein was straightened by 3-point retraction before isolation. To evaluate this method's efficacy, we investigated 51 patients who underwent LDP. Results: In 39 patients who underwent LDP with splenectomy, the mean operating time was significantly shorter in the SSV group than in the conventional group (p = 0.004). In 12 patients who underwent LDP with preserving the splenic vessels, the mean intraoperative blood loss in the SSV group was 27.6 ml, which was significantly lower than that in the conventional group (p = 0.012). Conclusion: This method may be applied as a standard procedure with little blood loss and short operation time for LDP. Larger prospective studies are needed to further evaluate the feasibility.

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