The Whipple procedure, or pancreaticoduodenectomy, is a type of surgery that is commonly performed to treat pancreatic cancer at Moffitt Cancer Center near Clearwater, Florida. Named for Dr. Allen Whipple, the surgeon who developed this complex technique, the Whipple procedure is often recommended to treat tumors located in the head of the pancreas, where most pancreatic cancers form.
When performing a pancreaticoduodenectomy, the surgeons at Moffitt near Clearwater, FL, fully customize the procedure to meet the patient’s specific needs. While there are many variations in technique, there are two main types of Whipple procedure:
- Conventional – A surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, duodenum, gallbladder and parts of the bile duct and stomach. To complete the procedure, the surgeon reconnects the remaining pancreas, bile duct and stomach to the digestive tract to restore the flow of ingested food, bile and digestive enzymes and allow for the passage of waste.
- Pylorus-sparing – This procedure is similar to a conventional Whipple procedure, but the stomach is left intact.
The type of Whipple procedure recommended for a patient will depend on the location of the tumor within the pancreas and other individual factors. The primary goal of surgery is to safely remove the tumor and any affected tissue while preserving as much of the pancreas and other nearby organs as possible.
Because pancreatic cancer is relatively uncommon, the American Cancer Society encourages patients to seek treatment from a high-volume, specialty cancer center like Moffitt. The multispecialty team of experts in our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program treats numerous patients with pancreatic cancer and our surgeons perform many surgeries, including the Whipple procedure, each year. As a result of our extensive experience, our oncologists have developed highly refined skills, and we are able to offer a more comprehensive range of treatment options than most other cancer centers. Additionally, through our evidence-based approach to pancreatic cancer treatment, we consistently achieve patient outcomes that exceed the national average, as well as the best possible quality-of-life outcome for each patient.
If you’d like to learn more about the Whipple procedure and other treatments for pancreatic cancer, the experts at Moffitt can review your options with you. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online. We see patients at our location near Clearwater, FL, with and without referrals.