Surgical resection is the only potentially curative treatment for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The choice for the type of procedure is influenced by the expected oncological benefit and the anticipated risk of procedure-specific complications. Few studies have focused on complications in these patients. This cohort study aimed to assess complications and risk factors after resections of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Patients undergoing resection of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor were identified within 2 centers of excellence. Complications were assessed according to the Clavien-Dindo classification and the comprehensive complication index. Logistic regression was performed to compare surgical procedures with adjustment for potential confounders (Clavien-Dindo ≥3).
The cohort comprised 123 patients, including 12 enucleations, 50 distal pancreatectomies, 51 pancreatoduodenectomies, and 10 total/combined pancreatectomies. Mortality was 0.8%, a severe complication occurred in 41.5%, and the failure-to-rescue rate was 2.0%. The median comprehensive complication index was 22.6 (0-100); the comprehensive complication index increased after more extensive resections. After adjustment, a pancreatoduodenectomy, as compared to a distal pancreatectomy, increased the risk for a severe complication (odds ratio 3.13 [95% confidence interval 1.32-7.41]). Of the patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 or von Hippel-Lindau, 51.9% developed a severe complication vs 38.5% with sporadic disease. After major resections, morbidity was significantly higher in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1/von Hippel-Lindau (comprehensive complication index 45.1 vs 28.9, P = .029).
Surgery for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors is associated with a high rate of complications but low failure-to-rescue in centers of excellence. Complications are procedure-specific. Major resections in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1/von Hippel-Lindau appear to increase the risk of complications.

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