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Nationwide minimally invasive surgery rates triple for pancreatic disease
Date:1/15/2014

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a three-fold increase in the use of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) across the nation for patients with pancreatic disease. Although adaptation of MIS for this difficult-to-reach gland is recent, the growing trend points to improved patient outcomes, such as reduced bleeding and infections. Now published online, the paper will appear in the March print edition of JAMA Surgery.

"For the first time, we show a nationwide tripling of keyhole pancreatic surgery rates for benign and malignant pancreatic disease from 2.4 percent in 1998 to 7.3 percent in 2009. Both laparoscopic and robotic approaches for distal pancreas removal are associated with lower rates of inpatient complications and shorter hospital stays," said Jason Sicklick, MD, assistant professor of surgery, UC San Diego School of Medicine, and surgical oncologist at UC San Diego Health System. "Patients should know that select approaches for minimally invasive pancreatic operations are safe depending upon the lesion's size and location in the pancreas."

The pancreas is a large gland located deep in the abdomen, behind the stomach and next to the spleen. The gland produces digestive juices and hormones that regulate blood sugar. To a surgeon's hand, the pancreas has a soft consistency. Due to its fragility and location near major vascular structures, the pancreas has been one of the last organs to be part of the MIS trend.

Sicklick added that with increased surgeon experience performing complex pancreatic and hepatobiliary operations, the application of minimally invasive techniques has slowly diffused from academic hospitals to the community setting. However, it has yet to reach its maximum potential.

The retrospective study compared utilization trends between MIS and traditional open techniques for pancreatic cancer operations from 1998 to 2009. Researchers evaluated in-hospital
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Contact: Jackie Carr
jcarr@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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