Risk factors and outcomes of conversion in minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy: a systematic review

on behalf of the International Evidence-based Guidelines of Minimally Invasive Pancreas Resection Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The reported conversion rates for minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy (MIDP) range widely from 2 to 38%. The identification of risk factors for conversion may help surgeons during preoperative planning and patient counseling. Moreover, the impact of conversion on outcomes of MIDP is unknown. Methods: A systematic review was conducted as part of the 2019 Miami International Evidence-Based Guidelines on Minimally Invasive Pancreas Resection (IG-MIPR). The PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase databases were searched for studies concerning conversion to open surgery in MIDP. Results: Of the 828 studies screened, eight met the eligibility criteria, resulting in a combined dataset including 2592 patients after MIDP. The overall conversion rate was 17.1% (range 13.0–32.7%) with heterogeneity between studies associated with the definition of conversion adopted. Only one study divided conversion into elective and emergency conversion. The main indications for conversion were vascular involvement (23.7%), concern for oncological radicality (21.9%), and bleeding (18.9%). The reported risk factors for conversion included a malignancy as an indication for surgery, the proximity of the tumor to vascular structures in preoperative imaging, higher BMI or visceral fat, and multi-organ resection or extended resection. Contrasting results were seen in terms of blood loss and length of stay in comparing converted MIDP and completed MIDP patients. Conclusion: The identified risk factors for conversion from this study can be used for patient selection and counseling. Surgeon experience should be considered when contemplating MIDP for a complex patient. Future studies should divide conversion into elective and emergency conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-605
Number of pages9
JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Conversion
  • Conversion to open surgery
  • Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy
  • Minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy
  • Robotic distal pancreatectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk factors and outcomes of conversion in minimally invasive distal pancreatectomy: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this