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Minimally-invasive Surgery has advanced so quickly in the last 2 years, that the largest operations of the body can now be completed through minimally-invasive techniques. Advances in technology and instrumentation has allowed surgeons to approach tumors previously thought to be impossible to remove with laparoscopy. Determining laparoscopic candidacy requires good judgment by a surgeon who has experience with both the laparoscopic and traditional large open operations.
Many operations of the pancreas can now be done with these techniques. These options include:
Laparoscopic Whipple Procedures
Laparoscopic Distal Pancreatectomy
Laparoscopic Central Pancreas Removal
Laparoscopic Pancreas Tumor Enucleation
Consider a highly-standardized surgical problem like a 2 cm mass in the tail of the pancreas. 95% of these are removed through a large open operation, even though a minimally-invasive approach results in less pain, fewer wound infections, fewer hernias, and an earlier return to work. So who gets the laparoscopic operation? The motivated patient!
The reason why only a few patients get the superior operation is that only a few doctors in the country know how to do it. Ask your local doctor for a surgeon in your area who has a lot of experience with minimally-invasive pancreas surgery, and don’t be afraid to call an expert for a phone consultation.