Splenic-preserving distal pancreatectomy for benign or low-grade malignant disease is associated with decreased perioperative morbidity compared with conventional distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy.
A retrospective review of a prospective database of patients.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.
All patients (N = 211) undergoing distal pancreatectomy.
Main Outcome Measures
Perioperative complications, length of postoperative stay, and overall survival times were analyzed.
After excluding patients with adenocarcinoma and those who had other major organ resection, 125 patients underwent distal pancreatectomy for benign or low-grade malignant disease with splenectomy (n = 79) or splenic preservation (n = 46). Perioperative complications occurred in 39 (49%) of the 79 patients following splenectomy and 18 (39%) of the 46 patients following splenic preservation (P = .21). Perioperative infectious complications and severe complications were significantly higher in the splenectomy group (28% and 11%) compared with the splenic preservation group (9% and 2%) (P = .01 and .05), respectively. Length of hospital stay was 9 days (range, 5-41 days) following splenectomy and 7 days (range, 5-26 days) following splenic preservation (P<.01). No difference in length of surgery, units of blood transfused, or perioperative mortality was noted between groups.
Splenic preservation following distal pancreatectomy for benign or low-grade malignant disease is safe and is associated with a reduction in perioperative infectious complications, severe complications, and length of hospital stay compared with conventional distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy. Therefore, splenic preservation should be considered in this group of patients.