Bilateral Thoracoscopic Splanchnotomy to Alleviate Pain in Chronic Pancreatic Disease.Ann Thorac Surg 2016; 101(3):e91-3AT
Chronic intractable pain is a common problem in severe pancreatic disease. Bilateral thoracoscopic splanchnotomy, a thoracoscopic neurotomy of the splanchnic nerves, is rarely performed but may provide significant pain relief in these patients. We present a safe strategy that uses prone positioning and two thoracoscopic ports for either hemithorax, permitting easy exposure and simple dissection of the greater and lesser splanchnic nerves. In our experience, this technique provides excellent pain relief with a minimal postoperative stay and few postoperative adverse events. This intervention has the potential to reduce dependency on opioid agents and improve quality of life in carefully selected patients.