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A 34-year-old member asked:

what happens during a whipple procedure? why is it done?

5 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pedro Hernandez
Geriatrics 40 years experience
Pancreatic surgery: Whipple procedure is to make secretions from the pancreas drain into the digestive tract by surgery. When there is disease in the pancreas ( tumors benign or malignant, strictures, stones etc. )or nearby structures that blocks the pancreatic ducts this fluid full of secretions like Insulin and glucagon and pancreatic enzymes to digest fat cannot come out should come out.
Dr. Cosme Manzarbeitia
General Surgery 39 years experience
For pancreas cancer: Whipples are majorly done for cancer of the head of the pancreas. It offers the only curative option for this. It removes the pancreatic head, duodenum and frequently part of the stomach too.
Dr. Eric Whitman
Surgical Oncology 36 years experience
Pancreas removal: A whipple procedure is where the proximal portion or head of the pancreas along with the majority of the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) and the last segment of the common bile duct are removed. The intestines are then reconstructed and the end of the pancreas as well as the bile duct are reconnected to the GI system. This surgery is done for a mass or a cancer in this area.
Dr. Benjamin Kim
General Surgery 43 years experience
Pancreatico-duodenec: The head of the pancreas and the adjoining duodenum and bile ducts are removed. The distal stomach is also removed in the classic whipple procedure(named for a.S.Whipple, surgeon at columbia in the 1940's). The cut ends of organs are then reconstructed. It is most often done for cancers in the head of the pancreas or periampullary region.
Dr. Umut Sarpel
Surgical Oncology 20 years experience
Resect and reconnect: The head of the pancreas, the duodenum, and the bile duct are all tightly connected structures, so that if one of those organs needs to be resected - they all come together. Once the site of disease has been removed, those three organs are reconnected again. It is important to find a surgeon with experience in the field since studies show that case volume is a key factor to patient safety.

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Similar questions

A member asked:

Is the pancreaticoduodenectomy a risky thing to do?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Heller
Gastroenterology 43 years experience
Major surgery: "whipple procedure" is major reworking of the plumbing, generally done to treat tumors of head of pancreas, neighboring ampulla of vater (entryway of panc and bile duct into small bowel). This shold be done by a surgeon who does "a lot" of these, in a place where they do "a lot" of these- often a cancer referral center. Can be a lot of perioperative, postoperative complications, longterm problems.
A 41-year-old member asked:

Familiar with the whipple procedure pancreaticoduodenectomy?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Ginsberg
Hematology and Oncology 37 years experience
Yes: This procedure is most commonly done in an attempt to cure pancreatic cancer.
A 45-year-old member asked:

What are long term whipple procedure complications?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
Depends: It depends somewhat on why the surgery was performed. If the pancreas surgery was for cancer, the long term risks are cancer recurrence. If the surgery was for pain from chronic pancreatitis, the long term risk is pain recurrence. Other risks are diabetes, fatty food intolerance, nutritional or dietary changes.
A 35-year-old member asked:

What is life like after whipple procedure ?

5 doctor answers18 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christopher Oxner
Surgical Oncology 18 years experience
Eventually normal: Recovery is slow and can be even slower with complications. Patients who are not diabetic and have normal pancreatic functions maintain normal function postoperatively most of the time. Patients will initially have poor appeptite and lose weight but eventually return to eating a normal diet. Recovery can also be delayed if patients require chemo &/or radiation.
Dr. Cosme Manzarbeitia
General Surgery 39 years experience
Well put. However, whipple is frequently performed for malignancy, and recurrence is more common than not. So the above applies in general in the absence of tumor recurrence
Aug 9, 2012
A 38-year-old member asked:

What is the "whipple procedure"?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Peter Denk
General Surgery 20 years experience
Pancreaticoduodenect: Pancreaticoduodenectomy. It's a procedure that removes the head of the pancreas, the duodenum and part of the bile duct. It's performed for problems with the pancreas, bile duct, the duodenum, or rarely for severe trauma to those organs. Most commonly it's done for pancreas masses, cysts, or cancer. It requires 3 re-connections of the bile duct, the pancreatic duct, and the stomach and intestine.

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Last updated Sep 16, 2017

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