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Who is a candidate for the Whipple procedure?

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Only about 20% of pancreatic cancer patients are eligible for the Whipple procedure and other surgeries. These are usually patients whose tumors are confined to the head of the pancreas and haven't spread into any nearby major blood vessels, the liver, lungs, or abdominal cavity. Intensive testing is usually necessary to identify possible candidates for the Whipple procedure.

Some patients may be eligible for a minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, Whipple procedure, which is performed through several small incisions instead of a single large incision. Compared to the classic procedure, the laparoscopic procedure may result in less blood loss, a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery, and fewer complications.

The Whipple procedure isn't an option for the 40% of newly diagnosed patients whose tumors have spread beyond the pancreas -- and only rarely is it an option for the 40% of patients with locally advanced disease that has spread to adjacent areas such as the superior mesenteric vein and artery, or for those whose tumors have spread to the body or tail of the pancreas.

From: Whipple Procedure WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Pancreatic Cancer Surgery."

Mayoclinic.org: "Pancreatic Cancer Treatment."

Pancreatica.org: "What Is the Surgical Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer?"

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: "The Whipple Procedure."

Pri-med Patient Education Center: "The Whipple Procedure."

University of Southern California Department of Surgery - Center for Pancreatic and Biliary Diseases.

Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on March 13, 2019

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Pancreatic Cancer Surgery."

Mayoclinic.org: "Pancreatic Cancer Treatment."

Pancreatica.org: "What Is the Surgical Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer?"

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: "The Whipple Procedure."

Pri-med Patient Education Center: "The Whipple Procedure."

University of Southern California Department of Surgery - Center for Pancreatic and Biliary Diseases.

Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on March 13, 2019

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