Among all the forms of common cancers, it has been found that pancreatic cancer has the poorest prognoses. This reason can be attributed to the cancer growing and spreading long before it starts showing any visible symptoms. A survey revealed that only 6 percent patients survive for more than five years after its diagnosis. For some patients, a very complicated surgery known as the Whipple's procedure will be able to extend life and can be counted as a potential cure. After undergoing Whipple's surgery the five-year rate of survival can be increased to 25 percent.
People who are suffering from pancreatic cancer are eligible for the Whipple’s operation. People who have tumors confined to the pancreatic head and the blood vessels, lungs, and livers or the abdominal cavities are still not affected and are recommended to undergo this procedure after intensive testing and evaluation.
People with benign tumors are also recommended to undergo the procedure. For patients who are suffering metastasis, this procedure is not recommended. Cancer in the ampulla, region where the pancreatic duct and bile duct enter, can also be treated.
Whipple's operation is conducted in the head of the pancreas. During the surgery, a segment of the duodenum, bile duct, and the gallbladder is removed. In some cases, a portion of the stomach may also be removed. After these segments are removed, the remaining pancreas, bile duct, and even portion of the intestine will be sutured back to the main intestine to direct the secretion of the gastrointestinal segment into the gut. The Whipple& procedure for pancreatic cancer is long and has several complications associated with it.
A doctor may recommend you to undergo Whipple operation for the treatment of the following conditions:
The operation is considered quite complex and therefore, the patient is required to stay in the hospital for one or two weeks with first night spent in ICU. Fatigue is common during Whipple’s procedure recovery phase for the first two months and follow-up occurs once in a week. This is followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy in the case of cancer.
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