Laparoscopic surgery for pancreatic cancer offers shorter hospital stays than open surgery

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | September 19, 2017
Rad Oncology Operating Room
Courtesy of GEM Hospital
A new study published in the British Journal of Surgery found that laparoscopic surgery is the better option for treating pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is the twelfth most common cancer worldwide, with 338,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012, according to the World Cancer Research Fund International.

Laparoscopic resection is a known alternative to open pancreatoduodenectomy and is suspected to have short-term benefits, but it hasn't been investigated in a randomized trial until now.

For the study, 64 patients with periampullary cancers were randomly selected to undergo laparoscopic or open surgery. The procedures treated tumors located in the head of the pancreas and adjacent areas, which is where about 75 percent of pancreatic tumors occur.

The research team at GEM Hospital and Research Center in India measured the length of each patient's hospital stay as the primary outcome. The amount of blood loss, radicality of surgery, duration of operation and complication rate were also investigated as secondary outcomes.

They found that the median duration of postoperative hospital stay is longer for open surgery than for laparoscopy — 13 days compared to seven days, respectively. In addition, the rate of blood loss was significantly higher in the open surgery group.

The number of nodes retrieved and the overall complication rates were similar in both groups, but the duration of operation was longer in the laparoscopy group.

"Major surgeries like cancer operations performed with a laparoscopic approach offer significant advantages to patients," Chinnusamy Palanivelu, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

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