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Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about a pancreaticoduodenectomy?

Pancreaticoduodenectomy is surgery to remove the head of your pancreas, your duodenum, the end of your bile duct, and your gallbladder. Part of your stomach may also be removed. The surgery is also called a Whipple procedure. This surgery is done when a cancerous tumor has been found in the head of your pancreas. The tumor may also be at the place where your bile duct and pancreatic duct meet, or the first part of your duodenum.

Abdominal Organs

How do I prepare for surgery?

What will happen during surgery?

What are the risks of surgery?

Surgery may damage your pancreas, stomach, small intestines, and other organs, blood vessels, or nerves. It may increase your risk for bleeding or an infection. Bile and other digestive juices may leak into your abdomen. You may have trouble absorbing food and nutrients after your surgery. A fistula (abnormal connection between organs) may form. You may develop diabetes. Even after surgery, the tumor may spread. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.