Clinical Research Papers:

Minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy for PNETs: laparoscopic or robotic approach?

Jiaqiang Zhang, Jiabin Jin, Shi Chen, Jiangning Gu, Yi Zhu, Kai Qin, Qian Zhan, Dongfeng Cheng, Hao Chen, Xiaxing Deng, Baiyong Shen and Chenghong Peng _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:33872-33883. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17513

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Jiaqiang Zhang1,2,*, Jiabin Jin1,*, Shi Chen1,2,*, Jiangning Gu1,2, Yi Zhu1, Kai Qin1, Qian Zhan1,2, Dongfeng Cheng1, Hao Chen1,2, Xiaxing Deng1,2, Baiyong Shen1,2 and Chenghong Peng1,2

1 Department of Pancreatic Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, P.R. China

2 Research Institute of Digestive Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, P.R. China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Baiyong Shen, email:

Chenghong Peng, email:

Keywords: PNETs, distal pancreatectomy, robotic surgery, laparoscopic surgery

Received: October 20, 2016 Accepted: April 18, 2017 Published: April 28, 2017


Background: The most effective and radical treatment for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) is surgical resection. Minimally invasive surgery has been increasingly used in pancreatectomy. Initial results in robotic distal pancreatectomy (RDP) have been encouraging. Nonetheless, data comparing outcomes of RDP with those of laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) in treating PNETs are rare. The aim of this study was to compare the safety and efficacy of RDP and LDP for PNETs.

Methods: From September 2010 to January 2017, operative parameters and perioperative outcomes in an initial experience with 43 consecutive patients undergoing RDP were collected and compared with those in 31 patients undergoing LDP.

Results: Patients undergoing RDP and LDP demonstrated equivalent age, sex, ASA score, tumor location and tumor size. Operating time, length of resected pancreas, postoperative length of hospital stay and rates of conversion to open, pancreatic fistula, transfusion and reoperation were not statistically different. Patients in the RDP group were associated with significantly higher overall (79.1 vs. 48.4 %, P = 0.006) and Kimura spleen preservation rates (72.1 vs. 16.1%, P < 0.001) and had reduced risk of excessive blood loss (50 vs. 200mL, P < 0.001). Oncological outcomes in this series were superior for the RDP group with more lymph node harvest for G2 and G3 PNETs (3.5 vs. 2, P = 0.034).

Conclusions: Both RDP and LDP are efficacious and safe methods in treating PNETs located in the body or tail of pancreas. Robotic approach offers advantages with less intraoperative blood loss, higher spleen preservation rate and more lymph node harvest. It may be sensible to choose RDP for patients who fit indications for scheduled spleen preservation.

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