10 doctors weighed in:
What is the surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer?
10 doctors weighed in

5 doctors agree
In brief: Resection
There are basically two types of surgery for pancreatic cancer: as mentioned, tumors in the head of the pancreas are removed by resection of the head of the pancreas, duodenum, and distal bile duct (the whipple); tumors in the body and tail are removed by distal pancreatectomy, often with splenectomy.
All pancreatic resections should be performed at high volume centers by high volume surgeons.

In brief: Resection
There are basically two types of surgery for pancreatic cancer: as mentioned, tumors in the head of the pancreas are removed by resection of the head of the pancreas, duodenum, and distal bile duct (the whipple); tumors in the body and tail are removed by distal pancreatectomy, often with splenectomy.
All pancreatic resections should be performed at high volume centers by high volume surgeons.
Dr. Debashish Bose
Dr. Debashish Bose
Thank
Dr. Jeffrey Pua
Internal Medicine
3 doctors agree
In brief: The Whipple
The whipple aka the pancreaticoduodenectomy is the surgical removal of a pancreatic tumor at the head of the pancreas along with excision and reconstruction of part of the duodenum.

In brief: The Whipple
The whipple aka the pancreaticoduodenectomy is the surgical removal of a pancreatic tumor at the head of the pancreas along with excision and reconstruction of part of the duodenum.
Dr. Jeffrey Pua
Dr. Jeffrey Pua
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Carlo Contreras
It also really depends on where within the pancreas the tumor is growing. If it is in the head part, a Whipple is the right operation. But if the cancer is in the tail, the patient qualifies for a much easier operation called a "distal pancreatectomy". Ask to meet with a surgeon that specializes in pancreatic surgery (such as myself) to understand your options.
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Depends on location
Some tumors of the body and tail can be managed by distal pancreatectomy.
Those in the head usually require pancreaticoduodenectomy or whipple procedure. Occasionally a total pancreatectomy is required for tumors that spread along the pancreatic duct. Adequate lymph node removal is needed and rarely portions of adjacent organs are resected.

In brief: Depends on location
Some tumors of the body and tail can be managed by distal pancreatectomy.
Those in the head usually require pancreaticoduodenectomy or whipple procedure. Occasionally a total pancreatectomy is required for tumors that spread along the pancreatic duct. Adequate lymph node removal is needed and rarely portions of adjacent organs are resected.
Dr. Michael Sawyer
Dr. Michael Sawyer
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Arnon Rubin
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
20 years in practice
162K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors