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Wipple Surgery Whipple Procedures
Wipple Surgery, a common misspelling of Whipple Surgery
Last year, a member of my family underwent the Whipple surgery. In the time leading up to the wipple procedure, I researched the procedure in order to get an understanding of the process, the results, whipple surgery recovery time and possible complications.
I found that information was either overly medical in nature, to specific or underdeveloped. This article is an attempt to bring together information and resources into one easily understandable format.
I am not a doctor, all information is being put forth in laymens terms by a laymen and is no substitute for the advice of your doctor.
That being said, all sources except for the anecdotal relating to the experiences of my loved one, are clearly cited.
Actual procedure involved during Whipple Surgery
This procedure involves the removal of the gallbladder, the head of the pancreas, the common bile duct, the first and second parts of the duodenum and portions of the stomach (the distal segment)
The duodenum is part of the small intestine, portions of the stomach are not always removed, the surgeons then reconstruct parts of the digestive tract
The Whipple Procedure broken down by process.
- The end of the stomach is divided off and detached. This part the stomach leads to the small intestine, where the pancreas and bile duct both attach
- The cancerous head of the pancreas is
cut, leaving it attached to the small intestine.
- Farther down from the
pancreas attachment site, the small intestine is divided to free the
section of the intestine that is connected to the pancreatic head.
- The bile duct is cut. This leaves the gallbladder and common bile duct attached to the removed section.
- Reconnect the intestinal tract. The stomach is connected to the small intestine, and the bile duct and remaining portion of the pancreas are reattached.
- Several tubes may be implanted for postoperative care. To prevent tissue fluid from accumulating in the operated site, a temporary drain leading out of the body will be implanted. Also, a G-tube leading out of the stomach will be inserted to help prevent nausea and vomiting, and a J-tube inserted into the small intestine will serve as a channel for supplementary feeding.
source: The Mayo Clinic
Origin of Whipple Surgery
It is called the Whipple procedure, after the American surgeon Dr. Allen Oldfather Whipple who devised the technique in 1935
Whipple Procedure or Pancreaticoduodenectomy is
that the head of the pancreas and the duodenum share the same arterial blood supply. These arteries run through the head of the pancreas, so that both organs must be removed. If only the head of the pancreas were removed it would compromise blood flow to the duodenum.-wiki
Pancreatic Cancer and Whipple Surgery
The Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy) is the most common operation performed for pancreatic cancer and may be used to treat other cancers such as small bowel cancer.
There are no screening tests for pancreatic cancer and as a result most cases are not discovered until late stages. The exact causes of pancreatic cancer are unknown but studies have found the following risk factors:
Age -- The likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. Most pancreatic cancers occur in people over the age of 60.
Smoking -- Cigarette smokers are two or three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop pancreatic cancer.
Diabetes -- Pancreatic cancer occurs more often in people who have diabetes than in people who do not.
Being male -- More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Being African American -- African Americans are more likely than Asians, Hispanics, or whites to get pancreatic cancer.
Family history -- The risk for developing pancreatic cancer triples if a person's mother, father, sister, or brother had the disease. Also, a family history of colon or ovarian cancer increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Studies have also shown that exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace or a diet high in fat may increase the chance of getting pancreatic cancer.
Source: Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Healing Time of Whipple Surgery
This varies from patient to patient. Patients experience pain and weakness after the Whipple procedure. Eating and finding the right foods will be difficult for the first few weeks. You may also experience nausea and constipation. Because of these difficulties, you will probably be unable to resume work and normal activities within the first month of recovery. After the first month, you will slowly begin to feel normal.
At Mayo Clinic, Patients leave the hospital in an average of 14 days.
A major healing factor appears to be relating to proper nutrition, the pancreas is responsible for making insulin and glucagon that help control blood sugar levels. Both hormones help the body use and store the energy it gets from food. The pancreas also makes pancreatic juices that contain enzymes to help digest food.
After the procedure, the combination of nausea, loss of appetite and decreased physical ability to store energy can be very difficult to overcome.
Proper nutrition and diet is of utmost importance!
Many survivors report that it took 3 months to a year for energy levels to increase, many find that dairy foods, fatty foods and sugary fruits become to difficult to process. It is important to listen to your body, be patient and to focus on giving your body the best opportunity to heal.
With a Doctors advisement it is a good idea to eat many small meals a day, try oral protein and energy supplement drinks, take multi-vitamins and to avoid alcohol.
Whipple procedure video
Important Links about Whipple Procedure
- Pancreatic Cancer :: Diet and Eating After Whipple's
Diet and Eating After Whipple's
- Whipple Patients Report Good Quality of Life After Surgery
Contrary to widespread belief among doctors and patients, patients who get through a major operation that removes the head of the pancreas, part of the small intestine and part of the bile ducts report a surprisingly high quality of life, a Johns Ho
- Pancreatic Cancer Treatment at Mayo Clinic
Pancreatic cancer treatment Learn about pancreatic cancer treatment at Mayo Clinic.
- Whipple Survivors Forum