Surgery may be suggested as a potentially curative treatment or as a palliative measure to improve the patient's quality of life.
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease. A palliative surgery may be performed to alleviate vomiting, nausea or jaundice with advanced tumors.
Depending on where the tumor is located, the surgeon would create a bypass to the bile duct and a bypass to the stomach.
A palliative surgical procedure to alleviate jaundice, nausea and vomiting for patients with advanced tumors in the head of the pancreas. The double bypass involves a bypass to the bile duct and a bypass to the stomach. Often a celiac nerve block is also performed. Often times, the procedure is performed to reduce pain and may reduce the need for pain medications and improve quality of life.
Typically, if the cancer is localized, resection or removal of the tumor, can be pursued. It is an option when the cancer has not spread to any blood vessels, distant lymph nodes or other organs, such as the liver or lung. If the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes that are routinely removed during a given surgical procedure, surgery will usually still be possible. Your physician will discuss surgical treatment options and create a personalized plan for you based on your specific condition.
Patients can expect to stay in the hospital for approximately 7 days after surgery.