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Pancreatic Cancer


Tumor Procedures

Three procedures can be used to remove tumors of the pancreas:

  • Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy): This is the most common operation to remove a cancer of the exocrine pancreas. It also sometimes is used to treat pancreatic NETs. A Whipple procedure is a complex operation that requires a surgeon with a lot of skill and experience. The surgical oncology team at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center has performed more than 300 Whipple procedures.
  • Distal pancreatectomy: In this operation, the surgeon removes only the tail of the pancreas or the tail and a portion of the body of the pancreas. The spleen is usually removed as well. This operation is used more often to treat pancreatic NETs found in the tail and body of the pancreas.
  • Total pancreatectomy: This operation removes the entire pancreas, as well as the gallbladder, part of the stomach and small intestine, and the spleen. This surgery might be an option if the cancer has spread throughout the pancreas but can still be removed.