There is controversy regarding the recommended surgical approach for pancreatic tumors near the neck or proximal body of the pancreas. Unlike pancreatic cancer patients, those with benign and borderline (low-grade) malignant tumors of the pancreas are expected to have long-term survival after successful pancreatic resection. Therefore, surgeons need to consider not only oncologic safety, but also quality of life in their choice of surgical treatment. Laparoscopic central pancreatectomy (CP) is an ideal approach for pancreatic tumors near the neck or proximal body of the pancreas because it preserves endocrine and exocrine pancreatic function and conserves spleen function. Consequentially, CP can improve quality of life. However, there are no standardized studies supporting the use of laparoscopic CP. In this manuscript, we review the current status of minimally invasive CP in the advanced laparoscopic era and assess the quality of the evidence supporting the use of CP. We also propose future directions for scientific efforts to assess the utility of this surgical approach for benign and borderline malignant tumors near the neck of the pancreas.
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