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Surgery. 1996 Dec;120(6):1051-4.

Early experience with laparoscopic resections of islet cell tumors.

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Department of General Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.



Diagnostic laparoscopy and laparoscopic ultrasonography have been applied recently for diagnosis and localization of islet-cell tumors. A further step was taken by performing resection of these tumors with laparoscopic techniques.


We studied a retrospective series of 12 patients operated on with laparoscopic techniques since January 1992. The seven female and five male patients had a mean age of 43 years. The mean tumor size was 3 cm. Thirty-six percent of the tumor site could not be identified before operation. Eight patients underwent planned laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (five insulinomas, two gastrinomas, and one unknown origin), and four underwent planned laparoscopic enucleation (one insulinoma and three unknown origin). Of the eight distal procedures, three had conversions (one inability to localize the tumor and two metastatic gastrinomas). Average operating time was 4.5 hours, with an average hospital stay of 5 days. Of the four explorations for possible enucleation, one was performed and one was converted to a Whipple procedure for nesidioblastoma of the head of the pancreas. The other two had negative explorations. The successful enucleation of an insulinoma of the anterior body of the pancreas was performed in 3 hours, and the hospital stay was 4 days. No recurrence was seen in the enucleated or distal pancreatectomy group in follow-up (15 to 38 months).


Laparoscopic enucleation or resection of benign islet tumors results in a shorter hospital recovery and is a good alternative to open surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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