Pancreatic cancer Whipple surgery is a pancreatic cancer treatment. The Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy) is the most everyday surgery carried out for pancreatic cancer and may be used to deal with other cancers such as small bowel cancer. It involves the surgical removal of the head of the pancreas, the lower end of the bile duct and the upper end of the duodenum. Pancreas Whipple surgery also involves reconnecting the stomach, pancreatic duct and the bile duct to the small intestine.
Pancreatic cancer is often thought to untreatable and rapidly fatal. This may be true for some but it is essential to acknowledge that a lot people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer can be helped.
Typically, the projected time to survive pancreatic cancer for an individual who has had pancreatic cancer Whipple surgery is about thirteen to twenty months. These numbers refer to populations of people and not to individuals. Consequently, the actual life expectation for a given person can be appreciably more or less than the average.
Surgeons consider pancreatic cancer Whipple surgery or Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy) appropriate only if the pancreatic cancer is limited to a small area and if the cancer is completely removed with no leftover cells at the cut line. This procedure is used for cancers in the head or main part of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer surgery procedure for cancers in the body or tail requires partial removal of the pancreas and spleen.
Pancreatic cancer operations are not usually performed if the cancer has spread. They are not beneficial and the procedure would only set back the time when medical treatments such as chemotherapy can be started.
When pancreatic cancer Whipple surgery and other pancreatic cancer operations were first performed several decades ago, the complication and mortality rates were very high, in fact over twenty five percent. Surgery now is much safer and in the hands of an experienced surgeon mortality rates now are between two and three percent. Following pancreatic cancer operations approximately thirty percent of people will develop problems but most of these are resolved without long-term consequences.
Common complications of pancreatic cancer Whipple surgery include nausea. This is due to a delayed recovery of stomach movement. It is possible for the surgery to be adapted by the surgeons to prevent this from occurring. After pancreatic cancer operations, wound infection and leakage of pancreatic juices are common. These generally improve. Diabetes may occur or may be worsened as a result of pancreatic cancer surgery.
Most people will lose ten to fifteen percent of their body weight after pancreas Whipple surgery. It is ambiguous why this extreme weight loss occurs but it is known this is not linked to not eating for an unlimited period of time. A lot of people may never regain all of the weight, which they lose and their body weight will remain lower for several months after pancreatic cancer Whipple surgery. Taking pancreatic enzyme supplements can relieve the side effects that both the cancer and the Pancreatic cancer Whipple surgery have caused. Although surgery does not offer a true long-term cure for pancreatic cancer, it is the best available tool if the pancreatic cancer is limited to a small area.