(Central Pancreatectomy; Distal Pancreatectomy; Total Pancreatectomy)
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- Part of the stomach or small intestine
- Nearby lymph nodes
Reasons for Procedure
- Leakage of pancreatic enzymes into the abdomen
- Damage to other organs in the abdomen
- Malabsorption problems
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Imaging studies to better locate the cancer
- Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Blood-thinning drugs
- Anti-platelet drugs
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Monitor you for any problems
- Give you medicines for pain and nausea
- Remove the tubes as you recover and heal
Depending on how much of your pancreas was taken, it may not make adequate amounts of enzymes for your body. If this is the case, your doctor may give you special instructions, such as:
- Eat a special diet.
- Take enzyme supplements to help digest food.
- Take insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Return to light activity when you feel comfortable. Do not do any heavy lifting or straining for 6-8 weeks.
- Recovery after this surgery may take many months. It may be difficult to adjust if you had to start taking new medicines or change your diet. Consider talking to a therapist or joining a support group to discuss your feelings.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain that you are unable to control with the medicines you have been given
- Any new concerns
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
Allendorf J. Surgical options. The Pancreas Center. Columbia University Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.columbiasurgery.org/media/lectures/pancreas%5Fawareness%5F20101113.pdf . Updated November 2010. Accessed April 2, 2013.
Pancreatic cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/index . Accessed April 2, 2013.
Learn about pancreatic cancer: surgery. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website. Available at: http://www.pancan.org/section%5Ffacing%5Fpancreatic%5Fcancer/learn%5Fabout%5Fpan%5Fcancer/treatment/surgery/ . Accessed April 2, 2013.
Pancreatectomy. University of California, San Francisco website. Available at: http://surgery.ucsf.edu/conditions--procedures/pancreatectomy.aspx . Accessed April 2, 2013.
Disease information. Baylor College of Medicine website. Available at: http://www.bcm.edu/pancreascenter/index.cfm?pmid=9291 . Updated March 15, 2013. Accessed April 2, 2013.
Pancreatic cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated March 26, 2013. Accessed April 2, 2013.
Surgical techniques for pancreas preservation. Center for Pancreatic and Biliary Diseases, University of Southern California website. Available at: http://www.surgery.usc.edu/divisions/tumor/pancreasdiseases/web%20pages/pancreas%20resection/ORGAN%20PRESERVATION.html . Accessed April 2, 2013.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 03/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2013 -