Background: Pancreatic injuries during nephrectomy are rare, despite the relatively close anatomic relation between the kidneys and the pancreas. The data regarding the incidence and outcome of pancreatic injuries are scarce.
Objectives: To assess the frequency and the clinical significance of pancreatic injuries during nephrectomy.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of all patients who underwent nephrectomy over a period of 30 years (1987–2016) in a large tertiary medical center. Demographic, clinical, and surgical data were collected and analyzed.
Results: A total of 1674 patients underwent nephrectomy during the study period. Of those, 553 (33%) and 294 patients (17.5%) underwent left nephrectomy and radical left nephrectomy, respectively. Among those, four patients (0.2% of the total group, 0.7% of the left nephrectomy group, and 1.36% of the radical left nephrectomy) experienced iatrogenic injuries to the pancreas. None of the injuries were recognized intraoperatively. All patients were treated with drains in an attempt to control the pancreatic leak and one patient required additional surgical interventions. Average length of stay was 65 days (range 15–190 days). Mean follow-up was 23.3 months (range 7.7–115 months).
Conclusions: Pancreatic injuries during nephrectomy are rare and carry a significant risk for postoperative morbidity.