Insulinoma is a tiny insulin hormone producing tumor in the pancreas. The excess insulin hormone produced by it dangerously lowers the blood sugar levels. This is the opposite of diabetes where there is an insulin deficit and high blood sugar.
Insulinoma is a tumor of the pancreas that produces excessive amounts of insulin. Insulinomas are more common in women. The tumors are usually small (less than 2cm) and more than 90% of all insulinomas are benign (non-cancerous).
Insulinomas produce excessive amounts of insulin and this causes low blood sugar. The typical symptoms that patients complain about are related to the development of low bloods sugar and include tiredness, weakness, tremulous and hunger. Many patients have to eat frequently to prevent symptoms from the low blood sugar. Some patients may develop psychiatric symptoms because of the low blood sugar.
Laparoscopic resection of insulinoma can be safely performed. Laparoscopic ultrasound was useful to confirm the location of the tumor and its relationship to vessels and pancreatic duct. Appropriate cases for laparoscopic enucleation and excision of insulinoma are tumors located in the anterior surface, inferior border and tail of pancreas, which location was detected on preoperative CT scan or EUS.
Patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery have small incisions associated with much less pain compared the large open incision that are required for open surgery. Early postoperative recovery, early discharge from hospital and much more rapid return to normal function. Most patients return to work earlier after laparoscopic procedures compared open procedures.