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April 1987

Cystic Neoplasms of the Pancreas

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Mass. Dr Frey is now with the Department of Surgery, Louisiana State University Hospital, New Orleans.

Arch Surg. 1987;122(4):443-446. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1987.01400160069010

• From 1963 to 1983, 26 patients with cystic neoplasms of the pancreas were treated at the Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Mass. Cystadenoma (15 patients) was more common than cystadenocarcinoma (11 patients). Preoperative symptoms, such as abdominal pain, were present for as long as 18 years before diagnosis. The mean size of cysts was 7 cm. Distal pancreatectomy, the most common operation, was performed in ten patients. Eight of the 11 patients with cystadenocarcinoma had metastatic disease at the time of surgical exploration. There was one postoperative death (3.8%). Patients with cystadenocarcinoma had an adjusted median survival time after operation of 6.0 months. The long prodrome in many of the cancer patients suggests that benign cystadenomas, particularly of the mucinous type, may undergo malignant degeneration. Benign cystadenoma seems unlikely to recur after adequate resection. Whenever possible, complete excision of cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma is the procedure of choice.

(Arch Surg 1987;122:443-446)