Laparoscopic Left Pancreatectomy in the United Kingdom: Analysis of a Six-Year Experience in a Single Tertiary Center

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Laparoscopic techniques have been slow to establish a role in pancreatic surgery. Worldwide, laparoscopic left pancreatectomy (LLP) is gaining in popularity; however, there remains little published data from the United Kingdom.


We aimed to evaluate the results of LLP performed in a single UK pancreatic unit.


Patients undergoing LLP for lesions in the body and tail of the pancreas between April 2009 and April 2015 were identified. Patient records were reviewed retrospectively.


Laparoscopic left pancreatectomy was performed on 46 patients, median age, 62 years (range, 19-84). The spleen was preserved in 27 patients (93% of planned), and 6 (13%) operations were converted to open. The overall morbidity rate was 39%; 28 patients had no complications. Significant complications were seen in 7 (15%) patients; this included 3 pancreatic fistula (6.5%) and 1 mortality (2%). Median length of stay was 6 days (range, 3-28). Histology revealed 15 neuroendocrine tumors, 8 adenocarcinomas, 4 mucinous cystadenomas, 1 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm, 2 metastases, and 16 other benign pathologies.


Laparoscopic pancreatic surgery has a low risk of significant complications. Our results offer encouragement to identify LLP as the gold standard approach for premalignant lesions. Further work should clarify the outcomes for malignant lesions.

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