What is The Whipple Procedure?
Whipple surgery (pancreaticoduodenectomy) is the most commonly performed operation to treat pancreatic cancer. During the Whipple procedure, surgeons remove the head of the pancreas, most of the duodenum (a part of the small intestine), a portion of the bile duct, the gallbladder, a portion of the stomach, and associated lymph nodes and then reconstruct the digestive tract. The surgery takes about six to eight hours to complete. Most patients stay in the hospital for two weeks following the Whipple procedure. Surgery can be performed as a curative measure if the cancer is contained within the pancreas and has not spread to blood vessels, lymph nodes or other organs.
The experienced surgeons at Wake Forest Baptist Health perform more pancreas cancer surgeries than any other institution in our region. Our team of experienced surgeons also includes experienced nurses and experts in gastroenterology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, radiology, pathology, cancer genetics, and social work to provide the best and most complete care to our patients.