Aim: Isolating the root of the splenic artery (SPA) is a challenging procedure in laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy (LDP). We investigated the usefulness of evaluation of the relationship between the SPA and pancreatic parenchyma using three-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT). Methods: In total, 104 patients were evaluated. The relationship between the SPA and pancreatic parenchyma was classified into two types: buried and non-buried. Video clips of 50 patients who underwent LDP requiring isolation of the SPA root were reviewed to determine whether the classification is related to difficulty of LDP. Results: Of the 50 assessed patients who underwent LDP, the relationship between the SPA and pancreatic parenchyma was the buried type in 30 (60.0%) and non-buried type in 20 (40.0%). The buried type was associated with a significantly longer median operative time than the non-buried type (285.0 vs. 235.5 min, respectively; P < 0.01). The median time required to isolate the SPA in the buried type (25.8 min; range, 4.0–101 min) was significantly longer than that in the non-buried type (7.0 min; range, 1.0–27.0 min) (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Preoperative 3D-CT around the pancreas is practical for predicting the difficulty of SPA isolation and determining the safety of the procedure.
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