Pancreatic Surgery And Complications

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Categorized by the affected part of the pancreas, pancreatic resection or pancreatectomy can be performed at two main locations: pancreatic head (pancreaticoduodenectomy or PD) and pancreatic body and tail (distal pancreatectomy or DP).

Categorized by the affected part of the pancreas, pancreatic resection or pancreatectomy can be performed at two main locations: pancreatic head (pancreaticoduodenectomy or PD) and pancreatic body and tail (distal pancreatectomy or DP).

  • The surgery of pancreatic head (pancreaticoduodenectomy)
    Pancreaticoduodenectomy, also known as a Whipple procedure is a complex surgery to remove the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine (called duodenum) and the distal part of bile duct.
    This procedure is used to treat tumors and other disorders of the pancreas and bile duct. It is the most often used surgery to treat pancreatic cancer that is confined to the head of the pancreas. This procedure often consumes time since it involves resection (to remove pancreatic head) and anastomosis ( to reconnect the remaining organs including pancreas, biliary tracts and small intestine), allowing patients to digest food normally after surgery. This procedure is a difficult and demanding operation. It might develop serious risks and complications, ranging from 10% to 40%, depending on complication types and severity. However, this surgery is often lifesaving, particularly for patients with pancreatic cancer. Due to innovative approach and expertise, the death rates from surgery drop drastically, only to 1% to 5%.
  • The surgery of pancreatic body and tail (distal pancreatectomy)
    Distal pancreatectomy is a procedure in which the tail and/or portion of the body of the pancreas are removed, excluding the head. It is considerably less complex. However, higher risks of pancreatic leak have been reported in distal pancreatectomy, compared to pancreaticoduodenectomy. In addition, patients who undergo pancreatectomy are at increased risk for developing a form of new-onset diabetes.

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