Premalignant and malignant cystic neoplasms of the pancreas are relatively rare, but absolute indications for surgical resection. Modern imaging modalities have increased recognition of asymptomatic cysts resulting in therapeutic dilemmas of whether surgery or observation is appropriate.
To examine our surgical experience with cystic neoplasms of the pancreas.
A retrospective study of patients who had cystic neoplasms of the pancreas and underwent surgical resections from June 2000 to April 2013. Presenting symptoms, surgical procedures, pathological diagnoses, and postoperative complications were analyzed.
Data from 16 patients were examined. Two patients had asymptomatic cystic neoplasms. Fourteen had symptoms ranging from 2 days to 6 years before diagnosis and surgery. Six patients underwent pylorus preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy, 4 underwent distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy, 2 underwent splenic preserving distal pancreatectomy, and 1 each underwent a classical Whipple operation, total pancreatectomy, distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy with partial resection of the posterior gastric wall, and distal pancreatectomy with splenectomy with left colectomy. The operative time ranged from 150 to 450 minutes. Operative blood transfusion ranged from 0 to 5 units. Four patients had mucinous cystadenoma, 4 had intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia with varying degree of dysplasia and carcinomatous changes, 6 had other malignancies, and 2 had other benign cysts. Postoperative complications occurred in 3 patients. There was no perioperative mortality.
Any suspicion of malignant changes in asymptomatic cysts should have them considered for surgical resection. Meticulous surgical techniques are important for pancreatic resection to minimize the occurrence of postoperative complications.