Whipple Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer
The Whipple procedure is an operation to remove a Reference pancreatic tumor and a lot of the tissue around it.
After a large cut is made in your belly, the surgeon will look at the pancreas and other organs in the area, including Reference lymph nodes Opens New Window, to see if the cancer has spread. Tissue samples will be taken for a Reference biopsy Opens New Window.
When the surgeon is satisfied that the tumor has not spread and can be removed entirely, he or she takes out the part of the pancreas containing the tumor. The surgeon will also take out the first part of the small intestine, the bile duct, the gallbladder, and nearby lymph nodes. Sometimes the lower part of the stomach is also removed.
The goal of surgery is to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it. The normal tissue is examined under a microscope to see if it is free of cancer cells. This is known as getting "clear margins." Having clear margins improves the chances—but doesn't guarantee—that all cancer cells have been removed.
The second part of the surgery involves sewing your digestive tract back together.
Sometimes this operation can be done with Reference laparoscopic Opens New Window surgery, using several small incisions instead of one large one.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: March 5, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|