Infographic: Pancreatic Cancer: Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Minimally Invasive Surgery Benefits the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

New techniques reduce incisions and risks for pancreatic cancer surgery.

  • Pancreatic cancer surgeries are complex and challenging
  • When surgery is an option, new laparoscopic techniques may offer fewer risks, reduced incisions and improved outcomes for patients

Conventional: Open Surgery

  • Requires opening abdominal cavity
  • Pancreas is difficult to access
  • Typical incisions are 20-40 cm

Minimally Invasive: Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery

  • Miniature precision surgical tools inserted through point incisions
  • A single short incision used for tissue removal
  • Typical incisions are 1-5 cm

Potential benefits of minimally invasive surgery for pancreatic cancer.

Laparoscopic staging techniques improve the selection of patients who will benefit from surgery.

  • Allow doctors to look for spread of the cancer through small incisions in the abdomen.
  • Highly accurate in staging patients at diagnosis.
  • Help avoid unnecessary or unhelpful surgeries.
  • Help direct appropriate non-surgical treatments.

Laparoscopic surgical removal of cancer rivals open surgical approaches.

  • Precision equipment and techniques allow complex pancreatic surgery to be performed laparoscopically.
  • Most patients are candidates for laparoscopic approach, including those with advanced or "inoperable" cancer.
  • The potential for earlier recovery may allow other treatments to begin sooner than conventional surgery.

Laparoscopic surgeries can improve patient experience and reduce complications.

  • Less blood loss
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Fewer incisional complications
  • Quicker recovery

Explore all options.

While pancreatic cancer is a serious diagnosis – often detected at a later stage and quick to spread – new techniques offer hope.

Seek high-volume treatment centers

Complex surgeries such as pancreatic resection are best performed by those with extensive experience.

Consult with surgeons familiar with the latest techniques

Laparoscopic pancreatic surgeries are highly technical and not all surgeons are trained in them.

Keep all options open

There are several surgical options depending on the patient, plus non-surgical treatments. Work with a center that can perform any of these.

Sources: MayoClinic.org; Cancer.net; NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov.

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