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Pancreatic Cancer: Surgery Source: National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health. www.cancer.gov One of the following types of surgery may be used to take out the tumor:
A surgical procedure in which the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, and the bile duct are removed. Enough of the pancreas is left to produce digestive juices and insulin. If the cancer has spread and cannot be removed, the following types of palliative surgery may be done to relieve symptoms:
Surgical biliary bypass:
If cancer is blocking the small intestine and bile is building up in the gallbladder, a biliary bypass may be done. During this operation, the doctor will cut the gallbladder or bile duct and sew it to the small intestine to create a new pathway around the blocked area.
Endoscopic stent placement:
If the tumor is blocking the bile duct, surgery may be done to put in a stent (a thin tube) to drain bile that has built up in the area. The doctor may place the stent through a catheter that drains to the outside of the body or the stent may go around the blocked area and drain the bile into the small intestine.
If the tumor is blocking the flow of food from the stomach, the stomach may be sewn directly to the small intestine so the patient can continue to eat normally. Total pancreatectomy:
This operation removes the whole pancreas, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, the common bile duct, the gallbladder, the spleen, and nearby lymph nodes.
The body and the tail of the pancreas and usually the spleen are removed. LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD Spleen Small intenstine Stomach Pancreas Gallbladder Liver