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Aim During left-sided spleen-preserving pancreatectomy (SPLP), limitations of laparoscopy may require spleen sacrifice or conversion to maintain patient safety. The objective of our study is to compare surgical and functional outcomes of robot-assisted and pure laparoscopic SPLP in patients with benign or borderline lesions of the body/tail of the pancreas. Patients and methods This was a case-matched study: fifteen patients who had robotic SPLP (R-SPLP) were matched with 15 comparable patients who had pure laparoscopic SPLP (L-SPLP). The peri-operative variables (conversion rate, amount of bleeding, operation time, length of hospital stay, complications, mortality and readmission) as well as the spleen preservation rate were compared between the two groups, The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) specific questionnaires were used in each arm after at least 1 year of follow up in order to evaluate quality of life (QoL). Results No R-SPLP was converted to conventional laparoscopy, hand-assisted laparoscopy, or open surgery whereas L-SPLP had a conversion rate of 13.3% (p=n.s.); also fistula formation (20% vs. 46%; p=n.s.) was higher in the laparoscopic group although not statistically significant. Mean operative time (220 vs. 279 min; p=0.027) was shorter and the spleen-preserving rate (fail/ success, 0/15 vs. 4/11; p=0.03) of R-SPLP was significantly better compared to L-SPLP. Moreover, length of hospital stay was significantly shorter in the R-SPLP group compared to the L-SPLP group (6.5 vs. 8.8 days; p=0.04). Post-operative high grade surgical complications occurred only in one L-SPLP patient (0% vs. 6.6%; p=n.s.). Quality of life scores were not significantly different between the two groups. Conclusions R-SPLP could provide an increased chance for spleen preservation and faster surgical procedure. Furthermore, fistula formation and conversion rate seem to be lower, reducing the length of the hospital stay. Our case matched study confirmed the potential peri-operative benefits of robotic assistance in this setting, however these benefits did not translate into a better quality of life at least one year post-operatively.
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Author(s): Luca Morelli Simone Guadagni Matteo Palmeri Gregorio Di FrancoGiovanni Caprili Cristiano DIsidoro Luca Bastiani Giulio Di CandioAndrea Pietrabissa Franco Mosca
Case-Control Studies, Laparoscopy, Pancreatectomy, Pancreas