Purpose: Staging laparoscopy is considered useful for determining treatment plans for advanced pancreatic cancer. However, the indications for staging laparoscopy are not clear. This study aimed to evaluate the safety of staging laparoscopy and its usefulness for detecting distant metastases in patients with pancreatic cancer. Methods: A total of 146 patients with pancreatic cancer who underwent staging laparoscopy between 2013 and 2019 were analyzed. Staging laparoscopy was performed in all pancreatic cancer patients in whom surgery was considered possible. Results: In this cohort, 42 patients (29%) were diagnosed with malignant cells on peritoneal lavage cytology, 9 (6%) had peritoneal dissemination, and 11 (8%) had liver metastases. A total of 48 (33%) had radiologically negative metastases. On a multivariate analysis, body and tail cancer [odds ratio (OR) 5.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.15–11.6, p < 0.001], high CA19-9 level [OR 4.04, 95% CI 1.74–9.38, p = 0.001], and a resectability status of unresectable (OR 2.31, 95% CI 1.03–5.20, p = 0.04) were independent risk factors for radiologically negative metastases. Conclusions: Staging laparoscopy can be safely performed and is useful for the diagnosis of radiologically negative metastases. Staging laparoscopy should be routinely performed for the accurate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer patients before pancreatectomy and/or local treatment, such as radiotherapy.
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