Why Would You Need A Pancreatectomy?


It’s possible to live without a pancreas. But when the entire pancreas is removed, people are left without the cells that make insulin and other hormones that help maintain safe blood sugar levels. These people develop diabetes, which can be hard to manage because they are totally dependent on insulin shots.

What are the side effects of a pancreatectomy?

Increased or foul smelling drainage from your incision site. Increased pain or redness at your incision site. Pain, nausea, or vomiting that is increased or not controlled by your current medication. Diarrhea or constipation that is not controlled.

What is a pancreatectomy procedure?

A total pancreatectomy is a surgery to remove your whole pancreas. Your pancreas is located in the back of your abdomen (belly), behind your stomach and just above your small intestine (see Figure 1).

What is life like after pancreatectomy?

It is normal to feel pain in the days following surgery, and it can take several months to fully regain strength. The person will be unable to drive for 2-3 weeks following surgery. It is possible to live a healthy life without a pancreas, but doing so requires on-going medical care.

Can the tail of the pancreas be removed?

Removing the tail end of the pancreas is known as a distal pancreatectomy. For lesions located in the region of the head of the pancreas, a pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple procedure) is typically performed. This operation entails removal of the head of the pancreas.

How painful is pancreatic surgery?

It is normal to experience pain after pancreas surgery. While in the hospital, you will be able to manage your pain with intravenous pain medication. Once you are at home, you will manage your pain with oral medications prescribed by your health care team.

What can you eat after a pancreatectomy?

Long-term post-surgical nutritional guidelines:

Consume fat (as tolerated) from healthy sources such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, nuts, seeds and avocados. Aim for at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day. Take pancreatic enzymes if needed. Take acid reducing medications as prescribed.

How long does it take to recover from pancreatectomy?

On your return home, you will find movements and activity difficult for the first few weeks. You may also feel low in mood, but this will soon get better. It is important to keep as active as possible, but also to rest. You will need 2-3 months to return to normal activities.

What are the signs of a bad pancreas?

Chronic pancreatitis signs and symptoms include: Upper abdominal pain. Abdominal pain that feels worse after eating. Losing weight without trying.


  • Upper abdominal pain.
  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back.
  • Tenderness when touching the abdomen.
  • Fever.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.

Does pancreatitis affect bowel movements?

Lack of enzymes due to pancreatic damage results in poor digestion and absorption of food, especially fats. Thus, weight loss is characteristic of chronic pancreatitis. Patients may notice bulky smelly bowel movements due to too much fat (steatorrhea). Occasionally, an “oil slick” can be seen on the toilet water.

Can the pancreas repair itself?

Acute pancreatitis is a self-limiting condition. In most instances, the pancreas heals itself and normal pancreatic functions of digestion and sugar control are restored.

What is the average hospital stay for pancreatitis?

Patients with severe acute pancreatitis have an average hospital stay of two months, followed by a lengthy recovery period.


What is end stage pancreatitis?

The end stage is characterized by steatorrhea and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. 6) Several characteristic complications of chronic pancreatitis are known such as common bile duct, duodenal, main pancreatic duct and vascular obstruction/stenosis.

Can you fully recover from pancreatitis?

Most people with acute pancreatitis improve within a week and are well enough to leave hospital after 5-10 days. However, recovery takes longer in severe cases, as complications that require additional treatment may develop. Read more about treating acute pancreatitis.

Which food is best for pancreas?

The best food choices for those suffering from chronic pancreatitis are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nonfat/low fat dairy, and lean cuts of meat. Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, may be consumed with careful portion control.

How do you gain weight after pancreatic surgery?

Friday Fix: Foods to Help Gain Weight

  1. Eating six to eight small meals/snacks throughout the day.
  2. Eating calorie-rich, nutrient-dense foods.
  3. Restricting or avoiding foods that may cause or worsen diarrhea.
  4. Asking a doctor or dietitian whether pancreatic enzyme replacement products maybe be helpful.

How much weight do you lose after Whipple?

Weight Loss

It is normal to lose up to 5-10% of your body weight after having a Whipple procedure. If you are continuing to lose weight exceeding 5-10% of your pre-surgery weight, consult a registered dietitian for recommendations on increasing your calorie intake.

How difficult is pancreatic surgery?

The pancreas is located at the intersection of major blood vessels, making surgery difficult. Pancreatic cancer is relatively uncommon but very deadly. It is hard to detect at an early stage, usually not treatable by surgery, and resistant to drugs that work in many other cancers.

How long can you live after a distal pancreatectomy?

The 3- and 5-year survival rates of patients after pancreatoduodenectomy were 27.3 and 17.8 % compared to 45.5 and 22 % in patients treated with distal pancreatectomy. The median survival in patients after PD and DP was 20.4 months (95 % CI: 17.4–23.8) and 24.4 months (95 % CI: 2.9–45.8), respectively (Table 2 and Fig.

What does tail of pancreas do?

Tail: The narrowing end of the pancreas represents its tail, which lies just in front of the left kidney. It’s here that you find the primary pancreatic duct that secretes insulin and digestive enzymes.

Is distal pancreatectomy risky?

There are many complications reported after distal pancreatectomy. They included pancreatic fistula, intra-abdominal abscess, anastomotic failures, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, wound infection and renal failure.

Can the pancreas be removed if cancerous?

Pancreatic cancer patients may also undergo a distal pancreatectomy or complete pancreatectomy, which involve removing some or all of their pancreas. The appropriate surgery is selected based on the size and location of the tumor within the patient’s pancreas and other eligibility criteria.

Can you drink after a total pancreatectomy?

Try to stop drinking alcohol once your surgery is planned. If you develop a headache, nausea, increased anxiety, or cannot sleep after you stop drinking, tell your doctor right away. These are early signs of alcohol withdrawal and can be treated.