What is Whipple Surgery? Procedure, Types, Treatment, & Cost
Whipple surgery is medically known as pancreatoduodenectomy. It is a procedure suggested by doctors in case of pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is one of the organs of the digestive system that produces essential substances for the digestion of food.
When there is a mutation in the gene, the cells of the pancreas divide uncontrollably and lead to the growth of tumours. Whipple surgery helps remove tumours at the top of the pancreas.
Whipple surgery can be done in various types, such as open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, or robotic surgery. Open surgery is the most used and well-researched method. Laparoscopic surgery involves making a pin-hole level incision to perform the surgery. Robotic surgery involves much more precision as the entire surgery is done by robotic arms.
Why do you need Whipple surgery?
Whipple surgery is the best option for someone whose pancreas, duodenum, or bile duct is damaged by tumours. The doctor suggests having a Whipple surgery to treat or manage the following:
- Ampullary cancer
- Bile duct cancer
- Neuroendocrine tumours
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pancreatic cysts
- Tumours in the pancreas
- Pancreatic trauma
Whipple surgery is required to prevent the recurrence and regrowth of tumours. This ensures the long life of the patient with regular monitoring of the concerned organs.
What is the procedure of Whipple surgery?
The surgeon gives the patient comprehensive information about what to be aware of before, during, and after Whipple surgery. They share information about any potential complications or risk factors. Before the surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or both may be provided as needed. The patient is given anesthesia. Then, an incision is made in the abdomen, through which the surgery to remove the concerned organs is carried out. One can consult with their surgeon about any doubts regarding the procedure, how to take care after the surgery, and other treatment options.
What are the benefits of Whipple surgery?
Whipple surgery is often done at a crucial stage in pancreatic cancer. The main aim is to extend life or even cure cancer. For some patients, it helps in removing any obstructions in the bile duct, stomach, or any other discomfort one might be having.
What are the risks of Whipple surgery?
Whipple surgery is one of the more complicated procedures. It frequently requires open surgery. Some risks that can occur during and post-surgery are as follows:
- There can be bleeding at the site of surgery.
- Infection at the site of the incision.
- There can be a delay in stomach emptying or even constipation.
- There can be leaks from the bile duct or pancreatic ducts.
- One may have temporary or permanent diabetes.
Whipple Surgery - Before and After Care
- One is given a consultation with a team of doctors consisting of pancreatic surgeons, specialist surgical nurses, anesthesiologists, psychologists, and a host of other medical professionals.
- If one is feeling anxious, relaxant medications are given. An intravenous catheter is inserted into the arm to provide fluids and medications as and when needed.
- The local nerves around the abdomen wall are blocked. One might also be given a spinal injection or an epidural catheter implant. Further, anaesthesia is given to the patient.
- A urinary catheter is put in the bladder to empty urine during and after the surgery and is removed a few days after the surgery.
- Take care of your diet during the recovery period after the surgery. Eat fresh food such as fruits and vegetables.
- Do not remove the bandages for a few weeks after the surgery.
- Wash the operated area very carefully using mild soap and soft towels to dry it off.
- Do not lift heavy objects for a few weeks.
- Do not expose the operated area to the sun.
- Initially, there will be problems falling asleep, which gets better over time.
- Eat healthy and smaller meals
- Keep yourself very well hydrated.
- Do not consume water along with meals for the first few weeks.
- Avoid dieting even if one is overweight as it will slow down the recovery.
Cost of Whipple Surgery in India
For Whipple surgery estimated cost can contact Gleneagles Global Hospital, Lakdi-ka-pul.
Whipple surgery is often a complex procedure, and it is thus important to consult the most expert specialists who can make the whole process hassle-free and cost-efficient. In particular, if one is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, this is one of the many procedures suggested for better recovery and to prevent any recurrence of cancer. After Whipple surgery, it is important to monitor the patient's status regularly and detect any new tumours that may have formed over time.
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What foods is one allowed to have after Whipple surgery?
One should consume easily digested foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Maintaining a gap between solid food intake and consuming fluids is also suggested.
Which organs are targeted in Whipple surgery?
In a Whipple surgery, organs such as the head of the pancreas, duodenum, gall bladder, and bile duct are removed.
What is the eligibility for Whipple surgery?
Many parameters are considered for a patient to be eligible for Whipple surgery. One of these factors is if any blood vessels are present around tumours. This can hinder the smooth conduct of the procedure due to excessive bleeding during the surgery.