Most commonly pancreatic surgery is for cancer; however, severe or recurrent inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), persistent pain coming from the pancreas, and fluid collections arising from the pancreas (pseudocysts) can also require surgery.
All patients require a CAT scan and blood tests. Some will also require a special endoscopy (ERCP) to evaluate the ducts in and around the pancreas.
Procedure varies with the indication. For cancer, the entire pancreas along with part of the stomach, adjacent intestine, and bile duct are removed (Whipple procedure). For pain from the pancreas, only part of the gland itself is removed. For pseudocysts or recurrent pancreatitis, the gland is opened and adjacent intestine is sewn in place.
Length of Stay
Variable depending upon which of the above operations is performed. However, all require stays of at least five days.
Four to six weeks with no driving for two weeks and no lifting over ten pounds for six weeks.