The Whipple Procedure is a complex operation which involves removing the head of the pancreas, called the duodenum, and parts of the bile duct. It is most frequently performed for malignancies in the periampullary region, such as pancreatic cancer. This procedure requires the skill of a highly specialized surgeon. After removal of the pancreas and duodenum, a reconstruction must be performed which involves sewing the pancreas, bile duct and stomach to the small intestine. Complications, including pancreatic fistula and delayed gastric emptying, are sometimes encountered.
The Whipple Procedure
Whipple Procedure Surgeon
The Whipple Procedure
Dr. Fraiman is a high-volume pancreatic and whipple surgeon with an established track record for efficient, safe whipple surgery with extremely low complications. He prides himself in performing whipple surgery without the assistance of resident surgeons making the operation go faster and with better outcomes. In addition, he provides a personalized approach in an elegant community setting. We highly encourage patients to seek an opinion with him prior to proceeding with this complex surgery elsewhere.
How long is the hospital stay? The hospital stay is between 7 and 14 days. Patients usually spend one night in the intensive care unit before being transferred to the surgical floor.
What kind of recovery and follow up can I expect? Patients usually remain fatigued for about two months after this operation. Follow-up is on a weekly basis with surgeon. Radiation and chemotherapy are frequently administered in the adjuvant setting.
What are possible complications? Complications from this procedure include pancreatic fistula, leakage from the pancreatic anastomosis, and the more common side effect of delayed gastric emptying. Both complications are treated with intravenous hyperalimentation. Delayed gastric emptying occurs in about 20 percent ofpatients and may last anywhere from 2-6 weeks. The majority of cases resolve in two weeks. Pancreatic fistula occurs in about 12 percent of patients. We pride ourselves in having the lowest complication rate for this procedure in the state.