Temple University Hospital Offers New Option for Patients with Pancreatic Tumors

Temple University Hospital

Temple University Hospital



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   December 13, 2012     


Temple University Hospital Offers New Option for Patients with Pancreatic Tumors


Spleen-Preserving Robotic Procedure Helps Minimize Risk of Infections

(Philadelphia, PA) – Physicians at Temple University Hospital (TUH) have successfully performed the hospital’s first robotic spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy, a procedure that will give doctors a new option when it comes to the treatment of pancreatic tumors. During the procedure, physicians use a surgical robot to remove the distal part (body and tail) of the pancreas and the tumor, while preserving the spleen as well as the artery and vein that feed and drain the spleen.


Typically, a distal pancreatectomy is done using open or laparoscopic techniques and requires the removal of the spleen. Now, as a result of the surgical robot’s flexibility and ability to complete precise sutures in a tight space, physicians are able to offer patients a spleen-preserving option for pancreatic tumor removal.


Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgeon Andreas Karachristos, MD, PhD, and Daniel D. Eun, MD, TUH’s Vice Chief of Robotic Surgery, performed the novel robotic surgery. “Our first patient had a good recovery and had minimal abdominal discomfort after the procedure,” said Dr. Karachristos. “My goal in the future is to remove all tumors confined to the distal pancreas using the robot.”


“This is a major step forward for Temple and further cements Temple as the epicenter of minimally invasive and robotic surgery in the Philadelphia region,” added Dr. Eun, who also serves as the Director of Minimally Invasive Robotic Urologic Oncology & Reconstruction at TUH.


Dr. Karachristos says preserving the spleen is preferable because the spleen is one of the organs that fights infections, so removing it can increase the rate of infections.


Any patient with a benign or malignant tumor that is confined solely to their distal pancreas is a candidate for a robotic distal pancreatectomy. The physician would determine if they are a candidate for the spleen-preserving approach. Those wishing to schedule an appointment can call 1-800-TEMPLE-MED.About Temple Health


Temple Health refers to the health, education and research activities carried out by the affiliates of Temple University Health System and by Temple University School of Medicine.


Temple University Health System (TUHS) is a $1.4 billion academic health system dedicated to providing access to quality patient care and supporting excellence in medical education and research.    The Health System consists of Temple University Hospital (TUH), ranked among the “Best Hospitals” in the region by U.S. News & World Report; TUH-Episcopal Campus; TUH-Northeastern Campus; Fox Chase Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center; Jeanes Hospital, a community-based hospital offering medical, surgical and emergency services; Temple Transport Team, a ground and air-ambulance company; and Temple Physicians, Inc., a network of community-based specialty and primary-care physician practices. TUHS is affiliated with Temple University School of Medicine.


Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM), established in 1901, is one of the nation’s leading medical schools. Each year, the School of Medicine educates approximately 720 medical students and 140 graduate students. Based on its level of funding from the National Institutes of Health, Temple University School of Medicine is the second-highest ranked medical school in Philadelphia and the third-highest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. According to U.S. News & World Report, TUSM is among the top 10 most applied-to medical schools in the nation.