Distal pancreatectomy

Distal Pancreatectomy

Distal pancreatectomy is a surgery to remove a tumour or cyst from the body or tail of the pancreas. A distal pancreatectomy may be performed by open technique or by laparoscopic means depending on the clinical situation. Occasionally, the spleen is located next to the pancreas may also be involved and may need to be removed. The surgical team will discuss the best option with the patient.

Surgery and post-operative recovery

Surgery may take 3 to 5 hours, depending on which approach is used and the complexity of the operation. Surgery is done using general anaesthesia.

After surgery, the patient needs to stay in hospital for 3 to 5 days after which he/she can be discharged if recovered well. Normal oral feeding can be restarted by the next day after surgery.If the surgery is done for a cancer, patient may need chemotherapy depending on the tumour stage on final biopsy report after multidisciplinary tumour board discussion. After completion of cancer treatment patient should be on regular follow up life long.

Few patients may develop side effects due to enzyme insufficiency as part of the pancreas is removed. In that case, patient may have to take regular enzyme supplements. Few patients may develop diabetes following this procedure which will require life long treatment for the same. Because the spleen helps the body ward off infection, one may need certain vaccines before and/or after surgery.

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