Robotic Distal Pancreatectomy
A distal pancreatectomy is performed in order to resect a tumor in the distal portion of the pancreas—also known as the tail. In this procedure, the abnormal portion of the pancreas is removed—sometimes with the adjoining spleen, as well—and the remaining part of the pancreas sutured or stapled shut. This operation is normally performed as an open procedure, but can also be performed laparoscopically.
Since it is a minimally invasive procedure performed through a number of small incisions, robotic distal pancreatectomy avoids the need for a large abdominal incision, resulting in less post-operative discomfort and scarring and a speedier recovery.
In addition, the da Vinci Si surgical robot provides surgeons with an enhanced ability to visualise and safely operate on the blood vessels surrounding the pancreas, compared with laparoscopic or open surgery. This enhanced visualisation also allows for improved spleen preservation rates.
Hepatobiliary and pancreatic operations are complex and uncommonly performed procedures so to date there are only a few centres around the world where they are performed robotically.