Laparoscopic uncinate process first pancreatoduodenectomy—feasibility study of a modified ‘artery first’ approach to pancreatic head cancer
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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to discuss the feasibility of laparoscopic 'uncinate first' pancreatoduodenectomy. METHODS: The analysis included prospectively collected data from 12 consecutive patients undergoing elective pure laparoscopic 'uncinate process first' pancreatoduodenectomy (Group 1). They were compared with patients previously operated on with a classical laparoscopic approach (Group 2). The primary outcome was the quality of the resected specimen (lymph node (LN) yield, R0 rate, involved resection margins). Secondary outcomes were perioperative parameters. RESULTS: The LN yield in Group 1 was 19.3 and in Group 2 it was 13.9 (p = 0.03). R0 resection rates did not vary (66.7 vs. 63.2%, p = 0.84). Although the involvement of the superior mesenteric artery margin and uncinate process margin seemed lower in Group 1, the difference was not significant. Total operative time (467 vs. 425 min, p = 0.13) and resection time (221 vs. 232 min, p = 0.34) were similar in both groups. The estimated blood loss in Group 1 was 408 ml, whereas in Group 2 it was 392 ml (p = 0.33). Complication rates were 66.7% in Group 1 and 63.2% in Group 2 (p = 0.84). Median length of stay was 9 days in both groups (p = 0.36). Postoperative complication rates did not differ between groups. CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic uncinate first approach is a feasible method for pancreatic head neoplasms. Achieved quality of the specimen is comparable with the traditional laparoscopic approach, whereas intra- and postoperative course is not inferior. However, further studies on larger cohorts are required to fully establish whether the novel approach has potential advantages over classical access in pancreatic head cancer.
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