(Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Classic Whipple; PP Whipple; Pylorus-preserving Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Pylorus-preserving Whipple Procedure)
- Gallbladder and common bile duct
- Top part of the small intestine called the duodenum
- Portion of the stomach called the pylorus—When the pylorus is not removed, the procedure is known as a pylorus-preserving Whipple procedure.
- Surrounding lymph nodes
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Reasons for Procedure
- Long-term difficulty with digestion
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Chronic need for pancreatic enzyme supplementation
- Leaking from connections made in the intestines
- Damage to other organs
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Echocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart function
- Lung function tests to make sure your lungs are strong
- Imaging tests to locate the cancer and make sure it has not spread
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision
- Pain that is not controlled with the medications you have been given
New or worsening:
- Weigh loss
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Symptoms of diabetes, which may include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
- Slow wound healing
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network http://www.pancan.org
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Pancreatic Cancer Canada http://www.pancreaticcancercanada.ca
Halgreen H, Pedersen NT, et al. Symptomatic effect of pancreatic enzyme therapy in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1986;21(1):104.
Having your operation for pancreatic cancer. CancerHelp UK website. http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/type/pancreatic-cancer/treatment/surgery/having-your-operation-for-pancreatic-cancer. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Nutrition following pancreatic surgery. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website. Available at: https://www.pancan.org/section-facing-pancreatic-cancer/learn-about-pan-cancer/diet-and-nutrition/after-a-whipple-procedure. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Pancreatic cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 25, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Recovering from a Whipple’s operation. CancerHelp UK website. Available at: http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/about-cancer/cancer-questions/recovering-from-a-whipples-operation. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Singh VV, Toskes PP. Medical therapy for chronic pancreatitis pain. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2003;5(2):110.
Surgery for pancreatic cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-treating-surgery. Updated February 5, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2014.
What you need to know about cancer of the pancreas. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/pancreas.pdf. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Whipple procedure. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website. Available at: https://www.pancan.org/section-facing-pancreatic-cancer/learn-about-pan-cancer/treatment/surgery/whipple-procedure-pancreaticoduodenectomy. Accessed February 27, 2014.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: Asystematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2015 -
- Update Date: 02/27/2014 -