At North Orlando Surgical Group, we are proud to have established a unique surgical practice characterized by superior skills and extraordinary services both to the patient we care for as well as their referring physicians. We are recognized in Central Florida for our ability to perform complex procedures in the least invasive way. Our attentive staff is focused on providing the highest level of personal services and are committed to making every patient’s surgical experience as comfortable and convenient as it can be.
A Whipple procedure, or pancreatoduodenectomy, is an operation which is performed to remove the head of the pancreas, part of the stomach, and part of the duodenum, or first part of the small intestine. This procedure is generally done as part of the treatment for pancreatic cancer, however, it is sometimes performed for other reasons, such as issues with the pancreas, small intestine and bile duct.
The procedure is done in an open fashion with a chevron incision. This type of incision is made in an upside down V shape across the upper abdomen. The reason for this type of incision is to not only allow the surgeon a clear view of the pancreas, but also to minimize the risk of hernia developing in the incision in the future. Once the pancreas, stomach and duodenum have been exposed the surgeon will remove the head of the pancreas. The bile duct from the liver and the remainder of the pancreas will then be attached to the duodenum to allow the pancreatic fluids and bile to continue to flow into the small intestine, which allows for normal digestion. The stomach is then reattached to the duodenum further down from this connection. Once this has been achieved the incision will be closed using staples. You can expect to spend several days in the hospital as part of your recovery. You will be encouraged to walk while admitted to avoid the risk of developing blood clots in your legs. Once you are discharged you will be instructed to call our office for a follow up appointment, usually within two weeks.
While you are recovering from this procedure it is not uncommon to feel tired or not yourself, and even have the blues. You may have a reduced appetite, and your sense of taste will be diminished, further reducing your inclination to eat normally. These are all normal parts of having had abdominal surgery. It generally passes in about four weeks, but you are encouraged to push yourself to be active and eat small frequent meals to stimulate your appetite and regain your strength. Our office is always available to answer your questions or provide you with advice to help you get through this period. Remember, you are not alone!
A Whipple procedure is a big surgery with lots of technical challenges for the surgeon performing it. It is vital to place yourself in the hands of a surgeon with the skill, experience and expertise to perform it well and get you through the surgery safely. At North Orlando Surgical Group we have this experience, as well as the compassion to guide you through the process. Surgery is never easy on the patient, and we understand this. If you have been advised that you would benefit from a Whipple procedure don’t hesitate to call our office for an appointment.