The safety of whole stomach-preserving Appleby operation with resection of the left gastric artery (LGA) for pancreatic cancer cannot be assured. The anatomy of the celiac axis (CA) with special regard to the position of the origin of the LGA was examined. Using 3D images of the vascular architecture reconstructed from volume data of helical CT, the length of the CA and the position of the origin of the LGA from the CA were measured in 53 patients. Among 53 patients, 47 patients (89%) had classical anatomy of the CA branches. The mean length(2 standard deviation) of the CA and the distance from the root of the LGA to the bifurcation of the CA were 25.2mm (-4.9) (range 14.6-36.5) and 10.3mm (+4.5)(range 2.4-21.9), respectively. In 23 (45%) cases, the LGA arose farther than 10mm away from the bifurcation of the CA. Among six patients with anatomical variation of the arteries, two (4%) had the LGA directly arising from the aorta. Conservation of the LGA at modified Appleby operation would give complete cancer removal by en bloc resection of the nerve plexus, without risk of ischemic complications of the stomach and liver.