Surgery in Pancreatic Cancer


What is pancreaticoduodenectomy?

The Whipple procedure is also known as pancreaticoduodenectomy. It is the main surgical treatment for Pancreatic Cancer. During this procedure, surgeons remove the head of the pancreas, most of the duodenum, a portion of the bile duct, the gallbladder and associated lymph nodes. Sometimes, the surgeon may remove the entire pancreas, the entire duodenum and a portion of the stomach. Most patients stay in the hospital for one to two weeks following the Whipple procedure.

How is pancreaticoduodenectomy done?

There are two common types of Whipple procedures:

The conventional Whipple: The conventional Whipple is the removal of the head of the pancreas, the duodenum, and a portion of the stomach. The gallbladder and a portion of the bile duct are also removed. Then the remaining stomach, bile duct and pancreas are reconnected to the digestive tract to restore movement of ingested food and digestive enzymes.

The pylorus-preserving Whipple: In a pylorus-sparing Whipple, the pylorus section of stomach is not removed during the Surgery.

A Whipple procedure typically takes between 4 and 6 hours depending on the location and extent of the tumour.

What are the side effects of pancreaticoduodenectomy?

  • Pain
  • Constipation
  • Feeling sick
  • Surgical leaks