Laparoscopic ultrasound enhances diagnosis and localization of insulinoma in pancreatic head and neck for laparoscopic surgery with satisfactory postsurgical outcomes.

Research paper by Wenxiu W Li, Lichun L An, Rong R Liu, Kechun K Yao, Minggen M Hu, Guodong G Zhao, Jie J Tang, Faqin F Lv

Indexed on: 07 Jun '11Published on: 07 Jun '11Published in: Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology


This study explored the value of laparoscopic ultrasonography (LUS) for tumor localization in laparoscopic pancreatic surgery of insulinomas, especially for tumors located at anatomically unfavorable positions. Twenty-eight patients with insulinomas were enrolled in this study between July 2007 and March 2009. Various image examinations were performed preoperatively. An iU22 ultrasound system equipped with a 5.0-9.0 MHz transducer was used for LUS. The tumor localization and postsurgical outcomes were evaluated. Intraoperative LUS precisely localized 33 insulinomas in 26 of 28 patients, whereas the preoperative imaging studies detected 27 of 33 (82%) tumors. No definite tumor in the pancreas and extra-pancreatic organs was identified in two patients by both preoperative and intraoperative imaging examinations. Of 33 tumors, 32 (97%) were localized in the pancreas (14 in the head and neck, 18 in the body and tail), whereas one (3%) was found in the duodenal ligament. Successful laparoscopic resection of insulinoma was performed in 21 of 26 patients, including resection of 11 tumors located in the head and neck of the pancreas. Five patients required conversion to open surgery. All insulinomas were benign with a mean size 13.8 mm. Four patients had pancreatic-related complications that spontaneously healed within 3 weeks after surgery. The median hospital stay was 8.5 days. Our study demonstrates that laparoscopic pancreatic resection under the guidance of advanced LUS is not only feasible and safe for tumors located at the body and tail but also for tumors located at the head and neck of the pancreas.