Pancreatic cancer surgery is almost the only cure for relieving symptoms or for a remote possibility that the cancer can be removed. There are different types of pancreatic cancer surgeries, each of the surgery satisfy different purpose.
Many times cancer is detected early because the growth of the cancer has caused blockage of the bile duct and resulted into jaundice. In such cases, attempts are made to remove all traces of cancer from the body, this surgery is called the ‘Potentially Curative Surgery‘.
Potentially Curative Surgery has three different methods these are the:
* Pancreaticoduodenectomy: this procedure involves removing the affected part or parts of pancreas. There are chances that part of pancreas may be completely removed along with part of stomach, lymph nodes, small intestines, etc. Parts other than the pancreas are removed only if these are affected by the cancer.
* Distal Pancreatectomy: This surgery is conducted only to remove the tail of the pancreas. This Pancreatic cancer surgery is effective only if small tumors are found isolated in the pancreas or the tail of pancreas. In cases where the cancer has spread this surgery is not useful.
* Total Pancreatectomy is not very frequently used now. This surgery involves complete removal of the pancreas. It has been found that a person cannot live comfortably without the pancreas therefore this surgery does not really help the patient. Completely removing pancreas would mean the patient would have to rely completely on insulin.
Another type of surgery is the Palliative surgery. This surgery is done in cases where the cancer has spread exponentially and it is not possible to remove it completely from the body. Instead of removing the cancer completely this method aims at only lessening the pains and discomfort faced by the patient. This surgery may involve cutting off part of pancreas and stomach. This surgery also may be for rearranging or restructuring the bile duct. This is done in cases where the cancerous cells are blocking the bile duct causing cancer and making bile build up in the body.
This form of pancreatic cancer surgery does not really stop the disease, instead it tends to make life a little easier for the patient by making it easy for the digestive system to work properly. This surgery can change the route of the bile duct by connecting it directly to the small intestine. This causes the bile to reach the small intestine without being hampered.
Palliative pancreatic cancer surgery can also change the route of the stomach with the small intestine by changing route of the duodenum, this can avoid feeling of vomiting and nausea in the patient later when cancer has considerably progressed. Today, with advancement in surgery connectors called the stents are often used for this surgery thereby making this surgery totally unnecessary.