A whipple procedure, also called a pancreaticoduodenectomy, is a surgical procedure used to treat tumors that occur within the head of the pancreas. The operation ideally completely removes the tumor and all surrounding lymph nodes where cancer cells may spread.
What happens during the procedure?
The surgeon will make a small incision in the abdomen to insert a laparoscope - a thin, lighted tube with a camera that allows them to view your abdominal cavity and internal organs. This is an essential step taken to evaluate any potential spread of disease that may not have been visible on the preoperative CAT scans. The surgery usually takes approximately five to eight hours to complete. After the surgery, patients will be taken to recovery either on the floor or sometimes in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
What can I expect after the procedure?
Most patients spend approximately seven to ten days in the hospital.