Importance: Multicenter studies indicate that outcomes of open (ODP) and minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy (MIDP) are equivalent for benign lesions. However, data for pancreatic carcinoma are limited. Objective: To compare outcomes of ODP and MIDP for early-stage pancreatic ductal carcinoma to determine relative safety and oncologic efficacy. Design: Retrospective analysis of 62 consecutive patients undergoing ODP or MIDP for pancreatic ductal carcinoma by intention to treat with propensity scoring to correct for selection bias. Setting: A high-volume university center for pancreatic surgery. Participants: Sixty-two patients at a single institution. Interventions: Patients underwent ODP or MIDP. Main Outcome Measures: Perioperative mortality, morbidity, readmission, postoperative complications, disease progression, and overall survival. Results: Thirty-four patients underwent ODP, and 28 underwent MIDP with 5 conversions to ODP. No significant differences in age, body mass index, performance status, tumor size, or radiographic stage were identified. High rates of margin-negative resection (ODP, 88%; MIDP, 86%) and median lymph node clearance (ODP, 12; MIDP, 11) were achieved in both groups with equal rates and severity of postoperative complications (ODP, 50%; MIDP, 39%) and pancreatic fistula (ODP, 29%; MIDP, 21%). Despite conversions, intended MIDP was associated with reduced blood loss (P=.006) and length of stay (P=.04). Conversion was associated with a poor histologic grade and positive nodes. Median overall survival for the entire cohort was 19 (95% CI, 14-47) months. Minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy was performed increasingly in later study years and for patients with a higher Charlson-Age Comorbidity Index. Overall survival after ODP or intended MIDP was equivalent after adjusting for comorbidity and year of surgery (relative hazard, 1.11 [95% CI, 0.47-2.62]). Conclusions and Relevance: We detected no evidence that MIDP was inferior to ODP based on postoperative outcomes or overall survival. This conclusion was verified by propensity score analysis with adjustment for factors affecting selection of operative technique.
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