Pancreatic Surgery

Pancreatic Procedures and Care

Surgical treatment of pancreatic disease includes a wide variety of procedures which can be broadly defined into resection or drainage procedures.  Indications for surgery include malignant or pre-malignant lesions as well as symptomatic benign conditions.

The more common procedures include resection of part or all of the pancreas and are mainly performed for treatment of cancer.  Both resection and drainage surgeries can be performed for certain conditions such as chronic pancreatitis.

In general, pancreatic surgery is a complex procedure. There are many critical structures, including major vessels and other organs adjacent to the pancreas.  During the procedure, gentle dissection of the pancreas from these structures is done to protect them.  If needed, adjacent organs or vascular structures are removed along with the pancreas and, at times, this requires additional “reconstruction” or “repair” of the removed organs or adjacent organs/vessels.

The more common surgical resection procedures include:

Removing the head of the pancreas along with the bile duct and first part of the duodenum (Whipple or pancreaticoduodenectomy) or a distal pancreatectomy which removes the body and tail of the pancreas , usually along with the spleen.

Given the complexity of the surgery, it is not uncommon for patients to experience post operative delays in recovery or complications.  These include bleeding, infection, pancreatic leaks, and delayed return of stomach or bowel function requiring supplemental nutrition and support.

While every patient’s clinical course is different, we are able to say that our outcomes have been on par or exceeded national benchmarks/averages.