Hypothesis: Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP) provides outcome advantages compared with open distal pancreatectomy (ODP). Design: Single-institutional, retrospective review from January 1, 2004, to May 1, 2009. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: Patients undergoing LDP (n=100) were matched by age, pathologic diagnosis, and pancreatic specimen length to a cohort undergoing ODP (n=100). Main Outcome Measures: Perioperative outcomes and overall 30-day morbidity and mortality. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using logistic or linear regression as appropriate. Results: Patients in the LDP group did not differ from those in the ODP group in age (mean, 59.0 vs 58.6 years; P=.85), sex (60% vs 50% female; P=.16), body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) (mean, 27.4 vs 27.9; P=.44), or American Society of Anesthesiologists score of 3 or higher (58% vs 52%; P=.39). Tumor size was greater in the ODP group than in the LDP group (mean, 4.0 vs 3.3 cm; P=.02). The LDP group as compared with the ODP group demonstrated decreased blood loss (mean, 171 vs 519 mL; P<.001) and shorter duration of hospital stay (mean, 6.1 vs 8.6 days; P<.001). There were no differences between the LDP and ODP groups in operative time (mean, 214 vs 208 minutes; P=.50), pancreatic leak rate (17% vs 17%; P>.99), overall 30-day morbidity (34% vs 29%; P=.45), and 30-day mortality (3% vs 1%; P=.62). Conclusions: The laparoscopic approach to distal pancreatectomy appears to provide advantages of reduced blood loss and length of hospital stay in selected patients compared with the open approach. Overall complication rates appear similar. Patient selection bias and limits of a retrospective analysis warrant prospective validation.
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