The Whipple procedure, or pancreaticoduodenectomy, is the most commonly recommended treatment for pancreatic tumors. Individuals in the Tampa, Florida, area who have been diagnosed with any type of pancreatic cancer have convenient access to the latest surgical techniques, including the Whipple procedure, as well as a full range of other treatment options in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center.
The Whipple procedure is a highly advanced surgical technique that was pioneered in 1935 by its namesake, Dr. Allen Whipple. As a result of ongoing research, this intricate surgery has been continually refined over the years, offering a source of hope to many people who are diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer.
When performing a standard Whipple procedure at Moffitt in Tampa, FL, a surgeon will usually remove:
- The head and sometimes the body of the pancreas
- The lymph nodes situated near the head of the pancreas
- The gallbladder
- Portions of the duodenum (the uppermost part of the small intestine) and the pylorus (a small part of the stomach), if those organs are affected by cancer
After removing as much cancer as possible from the patient’s body, the surgeon will then complete the Whipple procedure, or pancreaticoduodenectomy, by reattaching the remaining pancreas and bile duct to the small intestine to restore the flow of food, bile and digestive enzymes through the digestive system. Due to its relative complexity, this procedure is best performed by a surgeon who has specialized skills and extensive experience in the field of gastrointestinal surgery. Additionally, each patient is unique, and surgeons often encounter striking variations in the arrangement of blood vessels and ducts in the digestive tract.
Because a surgeon’s skills are further refined with each Whipple procedure performed, it is essential for a patient to work with a qualified and trusted surgeon to ensure the best possible surgical outcome and subsequent quality of life. Moffitt is able to offer a level of surgical expertise that far exceeds that of most other cancer centers (which likely see only a few patients with pancreatic cancer each year).
Referrals are not necessary to consult with the experts at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. To learn more about the Whipple procedure and other treatment options for pancreatic cancer, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.