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Enucleation of pancreatic tumour involves removal of the tumour without resecting the uninvolved normal pancreatic tissue. This operation is suitable for neuroendocrine tumours (pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasia) such as islet cell tumours.

This operation is suitable for a selected group of patients, depending on the proximity of the tumour to the pancreatic duct. Most of the functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours, for example insulinoma and gastrinoma are small and benign tumours. The tumours often have covering which separates them from the normal pancreatic tissue. This operation will safely remove the tumour without sacrificing the surrounding normal pancreatic tissue.

In this operation, the feeding blood vessels to the tumour are ligated and then divided. The tumour is then removed from the pancreas leaving normal pancreatic tissue intact.

This operation can be performed via laparoscopic technique. Laparoscopic enucleation has the advantages of fast recovery, shorter hospital stay, less pain and early return to work.

If the tumour is close to the pancreatic duct, accidental injury to the duct may cause pancreatic fistula. This complication may result in pancreatic juice leaking into the belly and causing infection.


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