Purpose: Blunt pancreatic traumatic injury in children, although rare, can be managed with a variety of methods from nonoperative, early operative, or delayed operative strategies. In the appropriate setting, early operative intervention has been associated with shorter hospitalization and decreased morbidity for these patients. Case reports describe laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy for isolated pancreatic laceration in children. This article presents the experience and results of the first series of totally laparoscopic, spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomies for trauma in children. Methods: Three children aged 8 to 13 years underwent laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy with splenic preservation for traumatic pancreatic transection within 72 hours of initial injury. Computed tomography imaging in all patients demonstrated complete pancreatic transection. The details of 2 operative techniques used for totally laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy are described. The data for associated injuries, amylase/lipase levels, operative management, postoperative course, length of stay, complications, and follow-up were collected for all patients. Results: All 3 children aged 8, 10, and 13 years underwent laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy without splenectomy within 72 hours of injury (23, 48, and 72 hours). The mechanism of injury was from a bicycle handle, knee to abdomen, and dirt bike handle, respectively. The length of hospital stay was 6, 15, and 7 days with follow-up of 12, 35, and 34 months. The 2 older children underwent pancreatic transection with an endostapler, and the 8-year-old had the pancreatic remnant oversewn by hand. Use of postoperative total parenteral nutrition continued for 0, 13, and 7 days. Complications included an abdominal wall hematoma and prolonged ileus with mild pancreatitis. There were no pancreatic fistulae or insufficiency. All patients are doing well and are asymptomatic from prior injury and laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy. Conclusions: In the appropriate pediatric patient with traumatic pancreatic transection, a laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy with splenic preservation can be performed safely, with low morbidity and good outcomes. Further studies with larger series of patients with these injuries would be useful.
- Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy
- Splenic preservation