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A 61-year-old female asked:

is the whipple procedure dangerous?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Amy Friedman
Transplant Surgery 39 years experience
Major operation: The whipple procedure is removal of the head of the pancreas and most of the duodenum (first portion of the small intestine), done for a tumor or other type of serious problem. Since these structures are connected to the stomach and the liver and the rest of the pancreas, new connections are created. Today, outcomes are quite good....And better than allowing tumors to grow. But risks are real.
Dr. Robert Uyeda
General Surgery 45 years experience
Any: Operation has risks, but also benefits. This operation is a radical pancreatico-duodenectomy, done usually for malignant tumors of the head of pancreas, distal bile duct, or duodenum. It is a big operation, but in experienced hands can be performed with minimal morbidity and mortality. The underlying condition for which it is being performed, on the other hand, is usually fatal if not resected.

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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.
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

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