The Whipple procedure, also called a pancreaticoduodenectomy, is performed to treat the following conditions:
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Neuroendorince (slet Cell) Tumors
- Chronic Pancreatitis
- Cancer of the ampulla of Vater (ampullary cancer)
- Duodenal cancer
- Cancer of the distal (lower portion) of the bile duct.
In the Whipple procedure, the surgeon removes cancerous parts of the pancreas, duodenum, common bile duct, and if required, portions of the stomach.
The pancreas is an organ about the size of a hand located in the abdomen in the vicinity of the stomach, intestines, and other organs. It lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas has two critical functions in the body:
- The production juices that help digest food
- The production of hormones such as insulin and glucagon that maintain optimal blood sugar levels and help the body use and store energy from food.