Impact of a Nationwide Training Program in Minimally Invasive Distal Pancreatectomy (LAELAPS)

Thijs de Rooij*, Jony van Hilst, Djamila Boerma, Bert A. Bonsing, Freek Daams, Ronald M. van Dam, Marcel G. Dijkgraaf, Casper H. van Eijck, Sebastiaan Festen, Michael F. Gerhards, Bas Groot Koerkamp, Erwin van der Harst, Ignace H. de Hingh, Geert Kazemier, Joost Klaase, Ruben H. de Kleine, Cornelis J. van Laarhoven, Daan J. Lips, Misha D. Luyer, I. Quintus MolenaarGijs A. Patijn, Daphne Roos, Joris J. Scheepers, George P. van der Schelling, Pascal Steenvoorde, Menno R. Vriens, Jan H. Wijsman, Dirk J. Gouma, Olivier R. Busch, Mohammed Abu Hilal, Marc G. Besselink

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective:To study the feasibility and impact of a nationwide training program in minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy (MIDP).Summary of Background Data:Superior outcomes of MIDP compared with open distal pancreatectomy have been reported. In the Netherlands (2005 to 2013) only 10% of distal pancreatectomies were in a minimally invasive fashion and 85% of surgeons welcomed MIDP training. The feasibility and impact of a nationwide training program is unknown.Methods:From 2014 to 2015, 32 pancreatic surgeons from 17 centers participated in a nationwide training program in MIDP, including detailed technique description, video training, and proctoring on-site. Outcomes of MIDP before training (2005-2013) were compared with outcomes after training (2014-2015).Results:In total, 201 patients were included; 71 underwent MIDP in 9 years before training versus 130 in 22 months after training (7-fold increase, P <0.001). The conversion rate (38% [n = 27] vs 8% [n = 11], P <0.001) and blood loss were lower after training and more pancreatic adenocarcinomas were resected (7 [10%] vs 28 [22%], P = 0.03), with comparable R0-resection rates (4/7 [57%] vs 19/28 [68%], P = 0.67). Clavien-Dindo score III complications (15 [21%] vs 19 [15%], P = 0.24) and pancreatic fistulas (20 [28%] vs 41 [32%], P = 0.62) were not significantly different. Length of hospital stay was shorter after training (9 [7-12] vs 7 [5-8] days, P <0.001). Thirty-day mortality was 3% vs 0% (P = 0.12).Conclusion:A nationwide MIDP training program was feasible and followed by a steep increase in the use of MIDP, also in patients with pancreatic cancer, and decreased conversion rates. Future studies should determine whether such a training program is applicable in other settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-762
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • distal pancreatectomy
  • laparoscopic surgery
  • pancreatectomy
  • pancreatic cancer
  • pancreatic disease
  • pancreatic surgery
  • robot-assisted surgery
  • training

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