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Pancreatic Resection Surgery

Pancreatic resection surgery—or surgery to remove a part of or the entire pancreas—is often the first step of treating pancreatic cancer. There are multiple approaches that may be taken to pancreatic resection surgery depending on the stage of the cancer and its location within the pancreas. 

Types of Pancreatic Resection Surgery

Patients who require pancreatic resection may undergo one of three common surgeries:

  • Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) – The most frequently performed type of pancreatic resection surgery, a Whipple procedure involves removing the head of the pancreas, gallbladder, surrounding lymph nodes and sections of the bile duct and small intestine. The surgeon then reconnects the remainder of the pancreas to the digestive tract. In some cases, the body of the pancreas is also removed.
  • Total pancreatomy – This surgery involves removing the entire pancreas. Patients who undergo a total pancreatomy can live a relatively normal life, although long-term insulin and enzyme replacement therapy is necessary following surgery.
  • Distal pancreatomy – The tail of the pancreas, sometimes along with a portion of the pancreas body and the spleen, is removed during this surgery.  

Pancreatic resection is often combined with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, to help shrink tumors before surgery or destroy remaining cancer cells after surgery.

Pancreatic Resection Surgery at Tampa General Hospital

The experienced pancreatobiliary surgeons at Tampa General Hospital perform even the most complex pancreatic resection surgeries, including procedures that involve multiple vascular reconstructions. The team within our Pancreatic Oncology Program leverages the latest advancements in robotic-assisted and muscle-sparing techniques to help reduce postoperative discomfort and shorten recovery periods. Thanks in part to our advanced approach to pancreatic resection and world-class cancer care, U.S. News & World Report recognized TGH as one of America's Best Hospitals for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery and as one of the top 10% in the nation for Cancer Care.

To learn more about our pancreatic cancer surgery options or to receive a second opinion, contact TGH at (813) 844-2200. Our team emphasizes prompt responses to all appointment and referral requests.