What is Whipple’s surgery?

Whipple’s surgery is also called pancreaticoduodenectomy that involves the removal of the head of the pancreas, duodenum, gallbladder and the bile duct.

Why is it

carried out?

It is carried out to treat tumors, disorders in pancreas, intestine and bile duct.

What are the diseases that can be treated under

Whipple’s surgery?

Following diseases can be treated under whipple’s surgery:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • Pancreatic tumors
  • Pancreatitis
  • Ampullary cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Small bowel cancer

How is the procedure

carried out?

The procedure can be performed under two approaches: open approach and minimally invasive approach.

Under the open approach which is carried out under the influence of anesthesia, incisions are made in the abdomen region and the pancreas is accessed. Then the affected part is slowly separated.

A constant supply of nutrients is maintained with the help of IV to the patient throughout the operation.

Laparoscopic procedure:

A general anesthesia will be administered to the patient and as a result he/she will be asleep during the surgery.

Once the patient is asleep the process begins by making incisions near the belly button and a small device is inserted which is called a port; it creates an opening that will be filled with gas (carbon dioxide) in the abdomen region.

Through these incisions a Laparoscope (a Laparoscope is a small instrument with a narrow tube which has light source and camera at the end of the tube) is inserted and using the Laparoscope’s video camera the surgeon is able to locate the affected body part and through the other incisions that are made the damaged/affected part is removed with the help of surgical equipment; after this the incisions are sealed using a surgical glue or staples.

How should one prepare for the

If you have a prior medical condition and you are taking medicines prescribed by a doctor please make sure you inform the surgeon beforehand.

The patient may be required to stop eating a few hours before the surgery.

How long does it take to


The surgery is a major procedure so the patient may have to stay in the hospital till the doctor advises.

The patient will be in complete bed rest and a catheter will be attached till his/her stay at the hospital.

The patient will be monitored closely in the intensive care unit.

After discharge the patient has to report to the doctor about his condition and there will be regular checkups for a few months.

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