Background We evaluated vascular patency and potential changes in preserved spleens after laparoscopic spleenpreserving distal pancreatectomy (SPDP) with conservation of both splenic vessels. Methods We retrospectively analyzed the patency of conserved splenic vessels in patients who underwent laparoscopic or robotic splenic vessel-conserving SPDP from January 2006 to August 2010. The patency of the conserved splenic vessels was evaluated by abdominal computed tomography and classified into three grades according to the degree of severity. Results Among 30 patients with splenic vessel-conserving laparoscopic SPDP, 29 patients with complete followup data were included in this study. During the follow- up period (median: 13.2 months), grades 1 and 2 splenic arterial obliteration were observed in one patient each. A total of five patients (17.2%) showed grade 1 or 2 obliteration in conserved splenic veins. Most patients (82.8%) had patent conserved splenic vein. Four patients (13.8%) eventually developed collateral venous vessels around gastric fundus and reserved spleen, but no spleen infarction was found, and none presented clinical relevant symptoms, such as variceal bleeding. There was no statistical difference in vascular patency between the laparoscopic and robotic groups (P>0.05). Conclusions Most patients showed intact vascular patency in conserved splenic vessels and no secondary changes in the preserved spleen after laparoscopic splenic vessel-conserving SPDP.
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