Small Intestine Cancer Surgery

Small intestine cancer surgery is the most common form of treatment recommended to address tumors that develop in the lining of the small intestine, which is part of the body’s digestive system. Any treatment decisions must take into account the nature of the cancer and the size and location of the tumor; specifically, whether it can be surgically removed and whether it is a primary or metastatic tumor. Primary small intestine tumors form in the small intestine and don’t spread outside of the organ. Metastatic small intestine tumors start in the small intestine and ultimately spread to distant organs and tissues when cancer cells break away from their point of origin and travel throughout the body via the blood stream or lymphatic system.

Types of small intestine cancer surgery include:

  • Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy) – While this is one of the most common treatments for pancreatic cancer, this procedure has been found to be curative for many cancers of the small intestine. This complex procedure involves the removal of part of the gallbladder and its cystic duct, the bile duct, the duodenum, part of the pancreas, part of the stomach and regional lymph nodes.
  • Resection – A surgeon removes part or all of the small intestine and any nearby tissues and organs that are affected by cancer. To complete the procedure when only a portion of the small intestine is removed, the surgeon may join the remaining ends of the organ together (ananastomosis).
  • Bypass – A surgeon creates an alternate pathway for food to pass around a nonremovable tumor that is blocking the small intestine.

For many patients, small intestine cancer surgery is one component of an overall treatment plan that incorporates other therapies, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. These nonsurgical treatments may be administered before or after surgery to help prevent cancer growth, metastasis or recurrence.

The cancer experts at Moffitt Cancer Center understand that a small intestine cancer diagnosis can seem overwhelming. We are committed to providing outstanding services, which is why all of our treatment and support options are available in a single location, and every patient’s treatment plan is recommended by a multispecialty tumor board. Our patients benefit from the latest diagnostic and treatment techniques, state-of-the-art technologies, nationally recognized research and promising clinical trials.

If small intestine cancer surgery is recommended for a patient, the Moffitt team plans for and proactively manages any anticipated side effects early on in the treatment planning process. In addition to world-class surgeons, our patients have access to pharmacists, dietitians, social workers and other professionals, all of whom work together to support healing and enhance quality of life. Our surgeons can also perform reconstruction procedures to restore the body’s function and appearance when required.

To learn more about small intestine cancer surgery and other treatment options at Moffitt, complete a new patient registration form online or call 1-888-663-3488. No referrals are required.