Facts to know about Whipple Procedure for Pancreatic Cancer

Whipple Procedure – An Overview

A Whipple procedure is a complex surgical procedure that is useful for treating pancreatic cancers. This procedure involves removing the upper part (head) of the pancreas as well as a part of the small intestine and the gallbladder.

This method of pancreatic cancer treatment is most useful in treating a cancer that is found in the head of the pancreas. It may also be used to treat cancers and tumors in any part of the pancreas, bile duct and the small intestine.

Who is an ideal candidate for a Whipple Procedure?

Around 20% of all pancreatic cancer cases are eligible to be treated with the Whipple procedure or other surgery. These are mostly those cases where the tumor is restricted to the upper part (head) of the pancreas and has not spread to other surrounding organs and tissues such as the liver, lungs, abdominal cavity or the blood vessels.

Intensive testing is required to determine a candidate for a Whipple procedure.

Certain patients suffering from mild form of pancreatic cancer may be eligible for the minimally invasive Whipple procedure performed using a laparoscope. This involves making small (keyhole) incisions instead of the larger incisions required in a traditional open-type of surgery. This less-invasive surgical procedure is more advantageous than other methods of surgeries as it results in less loss of blood, a shorter stay in the hospital as well as a quicker recovery after the surgery.

What are the risks associated with a Whipple Procedure for Pancreatic Cancer?

There are chances of a few complications that may arise in some patients after a Whipple procedure. The most commonly seen complication is the formation of fistulas as well as leakage from the bowel reconnection site.

Other possible complications arising from the surgical procedure include:

  • Infections
  • Bleeding
  • Bowel movement difficulty after meals

The patient is required to be under observation in the hospital for around a week after the Whipple procedure for pancreatic cancer before being allowed to return home. The doctor will also prescribe painkillers to fight the abdominal pain that usually accompanies a major abdominal surgery.

Diarrhea is another common problem experienced for the first 2-3 months after the Whipple procedure. Other rare complications may include:

  • Loss in weight
  • Diabetes

What is the success rate of a Whipple Procedure for Pancreatic Cancer?

The overall first 5-year survival rate after a Whipple procedure for pancreatic cancer is around 20-25%. The patient is usually advised chemotherapy or radiotherapy to prevent the cancer from recurring or if the doctor suspects that the cancer from the pancreas might have spread to other parts of the body (metastasized).

Why choose Travcure for Whipple Procedure for Pancreatic Cancer in India?

India is home to the world’s largest network of comprehensive tertiary care multi-specialty hospitals and clinics spread across all its major cities, including Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, etc. These are highly-equipped healthcare facilities that are equipped with the most advanced surgical technology and managed by India’s most-experienced and well-trained medical professionals and specialists. Travcure is well-connected with this vast network of multi-specialty hospitals to ensure that every patient gets the best and most effective treatment and surgery. Travcure provides every patient with a truly bespoke treatment package for effective and affordable high-quality Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer in India.

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