What is Whipple’s Operation?

The Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) is an operation to remove the head of the pancreas, the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), the gallbladder and the bile duct. The remaining organs are reattached to allow you to digest food normally after surgery.

Why Whipple’s Operation is done?

A Whipple procedure may be a treatment option for people whose pancreas, duodenum or bile duct is affected by cancer or other disorder. A Whipple procedure to treat:

  1. Pancreatic cancer
  2. Pancreatic cysts
  3. Pancreatic tumors
  4. Ampullary cancer
  5. Bile duct cancer
  6. Neuroendocrine tumors
  7. Small bowel cancer
  8. Trauma to the pancreas or small intestine
  9. Other tumors or disorders involving the pancreas, duodenum or bile ducts

The goal of doing a Whipple procedure for cancer is to remove the tumor and prevent it from growing and spreading to other organs. This is the only treatment that can lead to prolonged survival and cure for most of these tumors.

How Whipple’s Operationis done ?

A Whipple procedure may be done in various ways:

  1. Open surgery. During an open procedure, makes an incision in abdomen in order to access your pancreas. This is the most common approach and the most studied.
  2. Laparoscopic surgery. During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes several smaller incisions in your abdomen and inserts special instruments, including a camera that transmits video to a monitor in the operating room. Laparoscopic surgery is a type of minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery offers some benefits, such as lower blood loss and a quicker recovery in those without complications. But it also takes longer, which can be hard on the body. Sometimes a procedure may begin with minimally invasive surgery, but complications or technical difficulty require the surgeon to make an open incision to finish the operation.

Post operative recovery

After your Whipple procedure, you can expect to:

  1. Stay in the general surgical unit. monitoring your progress several times a day and watching for any signs of infection or complications. Your diet will be slowly advanced as tolerated. Most people will be walking 24 hours after the operation.
  2. Stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) for a few days. If you have certain medical conditions or a complex case, you may be admitted to the ICU after surgery. They'll give you fluids, nutrition and medications through intravenous (IV) lines. Other tubes will drain urine from your bladder and drain fluid and blood from the surgical area.

Most people are able to return to their usual activities four to six weeks after surgery. How long it takes you to recover may depend on your physical condition before your surgery and the complexity of your operation.

Advantages of Anal Fistula Surgeries

Chances of long-term survival after a Whipple procedure depend on particular situation. For most tumors and cancers of the pancreas, the Whipple procedure is the only known cure.