Laparoscopic Partial Pancreatectomy in a Patient with Pancreas Trifurcation and Recurrent Acute Pancreatitis

Introduction Embryologically the pancreas develops by the fusion of dorsal and ventral pancreatic elements. The ventral pancreatic bud gives rise to part of the head and uncinate process, while the remainder of the head, body, and tail of the pancreas develops from the dorsal pancreatic bud. Failure in this process may result in pancreatic duct variation. Several types have been described, including bifid pancreatic duct, ectopic pancreas and duplication anomaly. To our knowledge, pancreatic trifurcation has never been described so far. Aim To present a video of a laparoscopic partial pancreatectomy resection in a patient with trifurcation of pancreas and intermittent acute pancreatitis. Methods A forty-year-old woman suffering from intermittent episodes of acute pancreatitis with first onset at 2-years of age with multiple surgical interventions for abdominal abscess drainage until puberty when severity and number of episodes decreased. Three years ago, she experimented a new episode of severe acute pancreatitis with prolonged hospitalization and since then intermittent episodes. MRI revealed an anomalous pancreas with three pancreatic ducts. One of them with signs of obstruction and pancreatitis. Laparoscopic resection of the diseased pancreas was proposed. Results Operative time was 150 minutes. Blood loss was minimum. Recovery was uneventful and patient was discharged on the 4th postoperative day. Final pathology showed no signs of malignancy. Patient is well with no sign of the disease 12 months after operation. Conclusion Although anomaly of the pancreatic duct is extremely rare, this case should alert clinicians to be aware of such an anatomical variant that may alter the flow characteristics in the pancreatic ductal system resulting in an increased risk of relapsing episodes of acute pancreatitis. Our patient received the correct diagnosis only 38 years after the first episode of acute pancreatitis.


Marcel Autran Machado, Tiago Basseres, Rodrigo C Surjan, Fabio F Makdissi

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