Clinical presentation and state-of-the-art imaging permit the differentiation of most cystic pancreatic neoplasms not only from other cystic pancreatic disorders but also from one another. The differentiation of serous cystic lesions from the mucinous neoplasms (cystadenoma or carcinoma and IPMT) is crucial because of the radically different biological characteristics of these two neoplasms. Although mucinous cystic neoplasms should be resected because of their premalignant or overtly malignant tendency, most patients with serous neoplasms require no operative intervention unless they are symptomatic. IPMT is best treated by a total pancreatectomy, although lesser subtotal resections should be strongly considered depending on patient age, medical comorbidity, and psychosocial situations.
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