Who is eligible for Whipple Surgery?
Anyone who has been diagnosed with early head of pancreas cancer is potentially eligible for the Whipple Surgery.
At Island Hospital, a group of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists with special expertise in pancreatic cancer meet to discuss every case. This team offers guidance about the best course of treatment for each patient.
What are the long term effects of Whipple Surgery?
Complete recovery from the Whipple Surgery can take from one to two months. You will be able to eat normally after recovery. Patients usually need to take a daily vitamin with iron and a daily medication to reduce stomach acid. Those with pre-existing diabetes may require insulin after their surgery.
What other treatment(s) will I need after the Whipple Surgery?
Patients may need chemotherapy as part of their treatment depending on the stage of the cancer. Prior to surgery, chemotherapy is given to shrink the size of the tumour and treat the entire body. If the patient received less than six months of chemotherapy before surgery, the remaining course is given after the patient has recovered from the operation.
Am I too old for Whipple Surgery?
While there is no age limit for the Whipple Surgery, age-related issues and conditions may impact a patient’s medical course and outcome. Island Hospital oncologic surgeons will go through a thorough evaluation of the overall health condition of older patients before considering the surgery.
What are the risk of Whipple Surgery?
Whipple Surgery is a major operation. A patient undergoing Whipple Surgery may face a complication from the operation. About one-third of patients may experience complication from the operation. Complications can be major or minor and can include bleeding, infection and pneumonia.
Why should I choose Island Hospital for my Whipple Surgery?
If you have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Island Hospital grants you access to the latest diagnostic and treatment advances as soon as possible. Providing you with the best possible patient care is our number one priority. Island Hospital has one of the most experienced teams of surgeons in the country performing the Whipple Surgery.
Studies show that hospitals performing a high volume of Whipple Surgeries achieve a lower mortality rate than hospitals that perform few pancreatic resections. The Whipple Surgery itself is complex, taking several hours to perform and requiring a high level of surgical training coupled with excellent technical skills.
Island Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the country that offer the Whipple Surgery; our surgeons have performed more than 100 Whipple surgeries over the past 4 years. In 2019 alone, our surgeons have successfully completed 38 Whipple Surgeries.
The multidisciplinary team in Island Hospital integrates experts in the fields of surgical oncology, pathology, radiology and medical in treating pancreatic cancer.
At Island Hospital, our philosophy is, that at the very least, every patient deserves hope, even when there seems to be little.