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Whipple Surgery

What is Whipple Surgery?

The Whipple surgery is a procedure performed for the treatment of tumors and pancreatic, small intestines, and bile ducts conditions. This surgical procedure involves the pancreas head, small intestines first part, the gall bladder, and bile duct removal. The Whipple procedure is also referred to as a pancreaticoduodenectomy and is usually recommended for the treatment of pancreatic cancer that has not spread beyond the pancreas. It is a complicated surgery and poses serious risks, however, it is beneficial in saving lives.

Types of Whipple Surgery

The Whipple surgery is performed in the following main types which are:

  • Open surgery is one of the most common types in which the surgeon initiates the procedure by making an incision through the belly to reach the pancreas. 
  • Laparoscopic surgical procedure also known as minimally invasive surgery is performed by making small incisions in the abdomen through a special tool, a laparoscope. The tool has a camera that can send the video of the organ on a monitor in the operation theater. The surgeon present in the room instructs the guide to perform the Whipple procedure. 
  • Robotic surgery is also a minimally invasive procedure in which tools are fixed to a mechanical device known as a robot. The robotic surgeon is trained to tools in tight areas and across corners, where it is difficult for the surgeon to reach. 

Why a Whipple Surgery is performed?

Whipple surgery is often recommended to the patient when they are suffering from any kind of cancer. It can be in any part of the body or organ. Here is why there might be a need for Whipple surgery:

  • Bile duct 
  • Pancreatitis 
  • Pancreatic tumor 
  • Ampullary cancer 
  • Pancreatic cysts 
  • Neuroendocrine 
  • Small intestine also referred to as small bowel cancer 
  • Pancreas trauma 
  • Tumors in the bile ducts, duodenum, or pancreas

What happens before the Whipple procedure?

If the patient has cancer, there is a possibility that before Whipple surgery he/she might have to go through radiation or chemotherapy. The doctor will ask the patient to stop any medications they are taking before the surgery. There are other guidelines given before the surgery such as:

  • It is recommended to avoid drinks and foods for eight hours prior to surgery. 
  • Doctors strongly recommend quitting smoking even if two weeks are left for the Whipple surgery for heart and lung health improvement. 
  • It is advised to stop herbal supplements two weeks before the Whipple surgery or as instructed by the healthcare expert. 
  • For Whipple surgery, doctors recommend not to indulge in Viagra or medications for erectile dysfunction at least 24 hours before the surgery.
  • The patient must take blood pressure with water as guided by the doctor

What happens during the Whipple procedure?

The steps following during the Whipple procedure are as:

  • A large incision is made in the patient’s abdomen or there can be more than that but small one’s when it is a laparoscopic surgery. 
  • The surgeon will begin the procedure by pancreas portion removal where the tumor is found including the duodenum, the lower bile duct section, the gall bladder, and the stomach parts sometimes. 
  • In the next step, whatever is left of the bile ducts and pancreas gets linked to the small intestine. 
  • Lastly, the doctor will ensure reattaching of the small intestine to the patient’s stomach. It will ensure that food is passing through the digestive tract.

What to expect after the Whipple procedure?

It is important to understand that the Whipple surgery is a serious operation and when it comes to recovery the patient has to be prepared that it will take some time for recovery. The patient will experience pain for some time after the Whipple surgery. During the patient’s hospital stay, the healthcare team will ensure managing the pain and checking for infection and other complications signs. The patient will be put on a liquid and clear diet for some days until the doctor feels that the patient is prepared for solid foods. It is recommended to start lung exercises as soon as the patient begins to feel better.

Complications of a Whipple Surgery

Every surgical procedure has complications and Whipple surgery is no different. There are complications that can be experienced by a patient such as: 

  • Infection 
  • Bowel changes 
  • Sudden weight loss 
  • Problems in digesting certain food items 
  • Fistulas issues 
  • Organs leakage 
  • Diabetes
  • Bleeding 
  • Constipation 
  • Bowel leakage 

In any case, if the above complications are experienced, it is recommended to consult the doctor immediately so that necessary steps are taken on time.

Why should you choose The Calcutta Medical Research Institute for a Whipple surgery?

The Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is one of the largest multispecialty hospitals in Kolkata. Our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, revolutionizing the healthcare industry for the best surgical outcomes. In addition, CMRI has several eminent specialists, doctors, and healthcare providers of national and international reputations for comprehensive and personalized treatment. CMRI provides patient-centric care and empathy from internationally trained nurses to ensure holistic care for patients. Here are a few advantages of choosing the CMRI for a Whipple surgery:

  • Highly qualified and experienced doctors
  • 440-bed capacity along with cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Hygienic and patient-friendly infrastructure
  • Thorough screening and diagnosis
  • Transparent Pricing Structure for cost-effective treatment
  • Patient-centric, high-quality care for a high success rate
  • Pain management and palliative care
  • Complete and coordinated care for patients with all types of cancers.

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