Resection of the body and tail of the pancreas is commonly referred to as distal pancreatectomy. Although potentially of benefit to patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma confined to the body or tail of the pancreas, such tumors commonly metastasize prior to being discovered, and distal pancreatectomy for pancreatic carcinoma is a relatively uncommon procedure even at high volume pancreatic surgery centers. However, a variety of other pancreatic neoplasms that arise in the pancreatic body and tail, including cystic neoplasms, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), and neuroendocrine tumors are being identified with increasing frequency; such lesions are generally amenable to resection with distal pancreatectomy. This chapter briefly reviews the history of distal pancreatectomy, discusses current indications for performing this procedure, compares operative techniques in performing distal pancreatectomy and reviews both early complications seen in patients who have undergone a distal pancreatectomy and the long-term metabolic and oncologic outcomes of these patients.
KeywordsChronic Pancreatitis Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Pancreatic Fistula Distal Pancreatectomy Cystic Neoplasm
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