Effectiveness of Single-Port Thoracoscopic Splanchnicectomy in Controlling Pain in Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Thoracic Surgeon, Lung Diseases Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 General Surgeon, Endoscopic and Minimally Invasive Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Thoracic Surgeon, Department of General Surgery, 5th of Azar Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

4 Medical Student, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Community Medicine, Imam Reza Clinical Research Unit, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Chronic pancreatitis is defined as a persistent pancreatic inflammatory disease. In chronic pancreatitis, recurrent episodes of inflammation lead to the replacement of pancreatic parenchyma with fibrotic connective tissue. Chronic pancreatitis pain, which may initially mimic acute pancreatitis, is severe, frequent, and continual and has a major impact on the quality of life and social functioning of patients. The standard treatments for this disease are endoscopy, surgery, splanchnic nerve denervation, thoracoscopic splanchnicectomy (TS), and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Considering the advantages of the single-port method, we attempted to describe the post-treatment conditions of the patients undergoing this therapeutic approach.
Materials & Methods: Ten chronic pancreatitis patients with severe resistant pain volunteered to enter the study. We recorded the data on patients’ age, gender, pre-operative pain level, surgical complications, and post-operative pain level (two weeks after surgery) were recorded. Visual analogue scale (VATS) was used for pain assessment and paired sample t-test was performed for statistical evaluation of response to the treatment for pain.
Results: The participants included one female and nine male patients with the mean age of 53.3±0.8 years. The mean duration of severe pain before the onset of treatment was 13 months (range: 6 to 20 months). The pain level was determined 3 to 5 days before the operation and re-graded two weeks post-operation. Pre- and post-operative pain scores showed a significant reduction in the severity of pain before and after surgery (P<0.004).
Conclusion: Single-port technique is recommended as a safe way to reduce pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis.


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