Whipple Procedure

(Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Classic Whipple; PP Whipple; Pylorus-preserving Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Pylorus-preserving Whipple Procedure)

Definition

A Whipple procedure is complex surgery to remove part of the pancreas along with the:
  • Gallbladder and common bile duct
  • Top part of the small intestine called the duodenum
  • Portion of the stomach called the pylorus—When the pylorus is not removed, the procedure is known as a pylorus-preserving Whipple procedure.
  • Surrounding lymph nodes
The Pancreas
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Reasons for Procedure

You may have this surgery to treat cancer of the pancreas, duodenum, or lower part of the bile duct. It may also be done to treat people with long-term inflammation of the pancreas.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Long-term difficulty with digestion
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Chronic need for pancreatic enzyme supplementation
  • Diabetes
Complications that occur as a result of surgery may include:
  • Leaking from connections made in the intestines
  • Damage to other organs
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Blood clots
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:

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