Pancreatic cancer is the most lethal malignancy of the digestive organs. Although pancreatic resection is essential to radically cure this refractory disease, the multi-organ resection involved, as well as sequelae such as glucose tolerance insufficiency and severe complications impose a heavy burden on these patients. Since the late twentieth century, minimally invasive surgery has become more popular for the surgical management of digestive disease and pancreatic cancer. Minimally invasive pancreatic resection (MIPR), including pancreaticoduodenectomy and distal pancreatectomy, is now a treatment option for pancreatic cancer. Some evidence suggests that MIPR for pancreatic cancer provides comparable oncological outcomes to open surgery, with some advantages in perioperative outcomes. However, as this evidence is retrospective, prospective investigations, including randomized controlled trials, are necessary. Because neoadjuvant therapy for resectable or borderline-resectable pancreatic cancer and conversion surgery for initially unresectable pancreatic cancer has become more common, the feasibility of MIPR after neoadjuvant therapy or as conversion surgery requires further assessment. It is expected that progress in surgical techniques and devices, as well as the standardization of surgical procedures and widespread educational programs will improve the outcomes of MIPR.
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