Laparoscopic extended (subtotal) distal pancreatectomy with resection of both splenic artery and vein



Spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy can be performed safely and effectively by resecting both splenic vessels (Warshaw procedure) [14]. This simplified spleen-preserving technique might also be applied to minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy of benign and borderline malignant tumor [5, 6].


Although the conservation of both splenic vessels is paramount to preserving the spleen during laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy, preservation of the splenic vessels is not always possible, especially under the following conditions: (1) relatively large tumor, (2) associated with chronic pancreatitis, (3) tumor abutting splenic vascular structures, and (4) bleeding during the splenic vessel conserving procedure, which are potential indications of laparoscopic extended Warshaw procedure. Patient preparation and position was the same as that described in our previous study [7].


During the study’s time period, 38 consecutive patients underwent laparoscopic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy. Of those, five patients underwent a laparoscopic extended Warshaw procedure, which all included among 16 patients of extended distal pancreatectomy by dividing the pancreas at the pancreatic neck. All patients were women with a median age of 55 (range, 38–75) years. Median total operation time and blood loss were 215 (range, 200–386) minutes and 100 (range, 0–300) ml, respectively. The median length of hospital stay was 8 (range, 5–15) days. All of postoperative complications (two grade A and two grade B postoperative pancreatic fistula; one grade A bleeding) were able to be treated conservatively. During the median follow-up period of 11 (range, 7–42) months, one focal splenic infarction and one gastric varix were noted; however, no clinically significant complications were reported.


Laparoscopic spleen-preserving extended distal pancreatectomy with resection of both the splenic vessels is feasible and safe [8]. This surgical technique is thought to increase the chance of preservation of the spleen with minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy in well-selected benign or borderline malignant tumor of the distal pancreas.

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Drs. Choi, Hwang, Kang, and Lee have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Correspondence to Chang Moo Kang.

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Choi, S.H., Kang, C.M., Kim, J.Y. et al. Laparoscopic extended (subtotal) distal pancreatectomy with resection of both splenic artery and vein. Surg Endosc 27, 1412–1413 (2013).

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  • Distal pancreatectomy
  • Laparoscopic
  • Spleen preserving