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Pancreas Operations

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The pancreas is a long, flat organ within the digestive and endocrine systems located behind the stomach. Its role is to produce insulin and other hormones, as well as digestive enzymes that aid in nutrient absorption within the small intestine. While it has several important functions within the body, it is possible to live with no pancreas or only part of the pancreas when diseases, inflammation, injury or other disorders require surgical resectioning. Bradenton pancreas operations may be necessary for patients who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, as well as those with benign or pre-malignant conditions.

Did you know…

pancreatic cancer has a relatively low prevalence in the United States? An average of just 12 in every 100,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year, most of who are over age 60. While surgical removal of the pancreas is a standard treatment for pancreatic cancer, it is far more likely that a person could need a Bradenton pancreas operation for a benign condition, such as chronic pancreatitis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can benefit from a pancreas operation?

Partial pancreatectomy procedures are often recommended for patients who have suffered trauma to the body and tail of the pancreas. Total removal of the pancreas and surrounding organs is more likely to be necessary in patients with chronic or recurrent pancreatitis, pancreatic tumors, and pancreatic cancer.

What types of pancreas operations are available in Bradenton?

A laparoendoscopic single-site distal pancreatectomy/splenectomy is a minimally invasive technique used to remove only the body and tail of the pancreas, leaving the head of the pancreas intact. The surgery is performed through a small incision in the bellybutton instead of a large incision in the abdomen. In some cases, the spleen is also removed depending on the needs of the patient. Unlike open surgery, this type of procedure leaves little or no scarring and can also provide a rapid recovery period. Additionally, there is less blood loss, less pain, and less time required in the operating room.

Some patients undergo a more complex procedure known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy, or Whipple Procedure. The Whipple Procedure is the removal of the pancreas along with the duodenum. It may also include removal of the distal half of the stomach, gallbladder and the surrounding lymph nodes. The Whipple Procedure is used to treat patients with cancerous tumors of the pancreas and bile ducts, and in some cases it is beneficial for those suffering with idiopathic pancreatitis.

What should I expect after a pancreatectomy?

Your recovery experience will vary depending on the type of procedure you have. You may require an extended hospital stay, as well as several follow-up visits with your doctor. Patients with pancreatic cancer may require ongoing therapy, such as chemotherapy and radiation. In addition, removal of the pancreas will require pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy and insulin injections to replace the hormones and enzymes loss after pancreas removal.

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