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Pancreas Resection - What it is

The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach and near the first part of the small intestine. It is divided into 4 sections: the head, neck, body, and tail.

The pancreas has 2 main functions:
  • It makes digestive fluids that help break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
  • It makes insulin and glucagon, hormones that help regulate blood sugar levels.
Pancreas resection is mainly performed to remove pancreatic cancer or a suspicious tumour (e.g. primary adenocarcinoma, neuroendocrine) or cyst. Biopsy of the tumour or cyst may be ordered before the surgery if necessary.

There are two main types of pancreatic resection:
  1. Distal pancreatectomy or a Subtotal pancreatectomy
  2. Whipple operation/Pancreaticoduodenectomy
    1. A Distal pancreatectomy or a Subtotal pancreatectomy is a major operation to remove the left side of the pancreas (Body/Neck and Tail).
    2. A Pancreaticoduodenectomy also known as a "Whipple” operation is a major operation to remove a part of the pancreas (Head and neck/uncinate process), the gallbladder, the common bile duct, part of small intestine and stomach in some cases.

What does it involve?

A surgical cut (incision) will be made to enter the abdomen. In some cases, a minimally invasive approach (key-hole or robot-assisted) may be suitable and recommended for you as they result in less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. The surgery usually takes about 4 to 8 hours, but the time may vary depending on the approach and complexity of the case.

Pancreas Resection - Symptoms

Pancreas Resection - How to prevent?

Pancreas Resection - Causes and Risk Factors

Pancreas Resection - Diagnosis

Pancreas Resection - Preparing for surgery

Pancreas Resection - Post-surgery care

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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