Laparoscopic splenic-preserving distal pancreatectomy for trauma in a child

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To reduce the risks associated with splenectomy, there has been a trend toward splenic preservation when performing distal pancreatectomy. Although laparoscopy has gained almost universal acceptance, it is still not utilized often for pancreatic surgery in children. In fact, review of the literature shows only a few case series of splenic-preserving laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy, and even less reported experience in the pediatric population [13]. To our knowledge, there has been only one other report of laparoscopic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy in the setting of trauma in a child [4].


A 13-year-old boy suffered a handlebar injury to the abdomen secondary to a dirt bike accident. He did not report loss of consciousness but complained of abdominal pain. CT scan revealed a grade II splenic laceration with a transected distal pancreas. He was hemodynamically stable with a large contusion in the left upper quadrant. Laboratory evaluation showed that his hematocrit was stable but was significant for elevated amylase and lipase. During his hospitalization, he developed significant abdominal distension and his amylase and lipase continued to rise. He was taken to the operating room for definitive management of his pancreatic injury 72 hours after his initial injury.


In the operating room, a central line was placed so that he could receive total parenteral nutrition postoperatively. The video demonstrates the performance of a laparoscopic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy. There was a fair amount of old blood seen in the left upper quadrant and behind the pancreas. There was no evidence of active bleeding. The operation was performed without complication and with preservation of the splenic vessels.


The postoperative course was very smooth with the child resuming diet by postoperative day (POD) 4. He was sent home on POD 7. This video demonstrates that in the proper trauma patient, a minimally invasive approach to a spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy can still be performed.


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Drs. Marcus M. Malek, Sohail R. Shah, and Timothy D. Kane have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Timothy D. Kane.

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Malek, M.M., Shah, S.R. & Kane, T.D. Laparoscopic splenic-preserving distal pancreatectomy for trauma in a child. Surg Endosc 24, 2623 (2010) doi:10.1007/s00464-010-0961-x

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  • Pediatric laparoscopy
  • Pancreas
  • Trauma