Treatment and Cost

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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

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:

  • Pancreatic cysts, tumors, and cancer
  • Ampullary cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Cancer of the bile duct
  • Small bowel cancer
  • Traumatic injury to the small intestine or the pancreas
  • Tumor of disorders of the bile ducts, pancreas, or duodenum
  • An intravenous (IV) line is put into a vein of the arm. You may receive a medication through the IV line that will help you relax.
  • General anaesthesia is administered to put you into temporary sleep so that you do not experience any discomfort.
  • A urinary catheter will be inserted to drain urine during and after the surgery.
  • The surgeon makes a single large incision (open surgery) or multiple small incisions (laparoscopic surgery) to access the internal organs.
  • The head of the pancreas is removed along with the gallbladder, small intestine, and the bile duct.
  • Sometimes, a part of the stomach and the nearby lymph nodes may also be performed.
  • In certain cases, another pancreatic surgery for some other procedure may also be performed at this time.
  • The remaining portions of the stomach, pancreas, and intestines are reconnected after the procedure.

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.

  • Patients are encouraged for short walks initially.
  • Slowly, solid foods are incorporated into the diet while pills are given for pain management.
  • Patients are instructed on how to keep the incision area clean and bathing instructions are given.
  • Consumption of small meals are recommended and the patients are advised to avoid fatty foods completely
  • Pancreatic enzyme replacements can be given.
  • The patient is asked to increase water intake and avoid lifting heavy weights.

Frequently Asked Questions

South Korea is recognized for its strict rules and regulations which have kept the country in strict discipline. As an upside, the country has well-maintained regulations for every process and impressive medical healthcare facilities which have garnered thousands of visitors from across the world. The reason for opting for hospitals in South Korea is the astounding treatment options available at a very cost-effective price range, which is undoubtedly more affordable than most of the developed countries across the world. Besides the well-planned infrastructure, the treatment in South Korea and the alternatives offered are tempting enough. Apart from that, the country also flaunts high success rates and has thus been able to cure some of the most complex diseases in the world.
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. YUHS Severance Hospital + Gangnam Severance Hospital is a JCI certified hospital in South Korea.
The doctors and surgeons providing treatments in South Korea are globally recognized for their service in the medical field. Furnished with degrees from reputed universities and decades of training and experience, the doctors have earned high success rates throughout their professional careers. The doctors have to undergo rigorous training to keep up with the strict protocol and measures of hospitals in South Korea. Hence, quality is maintained.
The Korean embassy follows a strict protocol for obtaining a visa for traveling to the country. The necessary documents (photocopies and original) have been listed on their official website and should be strictly adhered to. The candidate also has to produce necessary papers stating the medical cause and referral certificate signed by the registered medical practitioner. Although these need to be taken care of by the candidate, the rest of the procedures and further visa assistance is managed by the sponsors in most cases. A Medical Dependent Visa is granted to those who are accompanying a patient traveling to Sount Korea for medical treatment on a Medical Visa. This visa can be given to a close relative/family member or a friend of the patient. Please note that relevant letters/documents explaining details of the treatment, signed and stamped by the concerned hospitals/doctors, a declaration from the patient or an immediate family member is also required confirming the escort travel along with the patient.
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
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  • Hospital Recommendation
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  • 360-degree Hospital Review
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  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
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    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Treatment in South Korea is affordable. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and one of the main cities for healthcare. Seoul and Daegu have some of the best hospitals in South Korea. Busan, Incheon, and Ulsan also have developing healthcare facilities.

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