(Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Classic Whipple; PP Whipple; Pylorus-preserving Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Pylorus-preserving Whipple Procedure)
- Gallbladder and common bile duct
- Top part of the small intestine called the duodenum
- Portion of the stomach called the pylorus—When the pylorus is not removed, the procedure is known as a pylorus-preserving Whipple procedure.
- Surrounding lymph nodes
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Reasons for Procedure
- Long-term difficulty with digestion
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Chronic need for pancreatic enzyme supplementation
- Leaking from connections made in the intestines
- Damage to other organs
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Blood clots
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Echocardiogram (ECG) to check your heart function
- Lung function tests to make sure your lungs are strong
- Imaging tests to locate the cancer and make sure it has not spread
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners
- Antiplatelet drugs
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incision
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, such as fever or chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision
- Pain that is not controlled with the medications you have been given
New or worsening:
- Weigh loss
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Symptoms of diabetes, which may include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
- Slow wound healing
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
Halgreen H, Pedersen NT, Worning H. Symptomatic effect of pancreatic enzyme therapy in patients with chronic pancreatitis. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1986;21(1):104.
Having your operation for pancreatic cancer. CancerHelp UK website. http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/type/pancreatic-cancer/treatment/surgery/having-your-operation-for-pancreatic-cancer. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Learn about pancreatic cancer: nutrition following pancreatic surgery. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website. Available at: http://www.pancan.org/section%5Ffacing%5Fpancreatic%5Fcancer/learn%5Fabout%5Fpan%5Fcancer/diet%5Fand%5Fnutrition/After%5FWhipple%5Fprocedure.php. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Learn about pancreatic cancer: Whipple procedure. Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website. Available at: http://www.pancan.org/section%5Ffacing%5Fpancreatic%5Fcancer/learn%5Fabout%5Fpan%5Fcancer/treatment/surgery/Whipple%5Fprocedure.php. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Pancreatic cancer. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 25, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Recovering from a Whipple’s operation. CancerHelp UK website. Available at: http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/about-cancer/cancer-questions/recovering-from-a-whipples-operation. Accessed February 27, 2014.
Singh VV, Toskes PP. Medical therapy for chronic pancreatitis pain. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2003;5(2):110.
Surgery for pancreatic cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreaticcancer/detailedguide/pancreatic-cancer-treating-surgery. Updated February 5, 2014. Accessed February 27, 2014.
What you need to know about cancer of the pancreas. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/pancreas.pdf. Accessed February 27, 2014.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/27/2014 -