Thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy for intractable pancreatic pain

J. Kuriansky, A. Saenz, L. Fernandez-Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intractable pain is the most distressing symptom in nonresectable pancreatic carcinoma and in chronic pancreatitis. Recently, thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy has been advocated as a minimally invasive method of pain control in these patients. Between May 1995 and April 1998, 24 patients with nonresectable pancreatic cancer and 4 with chronic pancreatitis, underwent 43 thoracoscopic splanchnicectomies. All suffered from intractable pain, were opiate-dependent and unable to perform normal daily activities. Unilateral left splanchnicectomy was done in 13 and bilateral in 15. All procedures were completed thoracoscopically. Operative time ranged from 25 to 60 min and mean hospital stay was 3 days. Median pain intensity was reduced by 50% in 24 and no further narcotics or analgesics were required. We found thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy a safe and effective procedure for intractable pancreatic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-515, 592
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


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