Pancreatectomy

A pancreatectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the pancreas.

  • Several types of pancreatectomy exist:
  • pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple procedure)
  • distal pancreatectomy
  • segmental pancreatectomy
  • total pancreatectomy

These procedures are used in the management of several conditions involving the pancreas, such as benign pancreatic tumors, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatitis.

When pancreatic output has been compromised, insulin and digestive enzymes may need to be supplemented.

 


Recommendations for Pancreatectomy

Digestion  


Drug  

Conventional Drugs / Information

Blood sugar should be monitored regularly if insulin production is reduced due to limited pancreatic output. Insulin replacement may be necessary.



Lab Tests/Rule-Outs  


 


Vitamins  

Vitamin A

Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K are absorbed more efficiently in the presence of fat. A low fat diet results in poorer absorption of the fat soluble vitamins.

Bile (from the liver and gallbladder) breaks down large fat molecules to tiny droplets which provide lipase (from the pancreas) with an enormously increased surface to work on. This action takes place in the small intestine and the lipase involved here is a part of the pancreatic secretion.



 


 


 


Key

May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended

Glossary

Distal

Anatomically located further away from a point of reference, such as an origin or a point of attachment.

Benign

Literally: innocent; not malignant. Often used to refer to cells that are not cancerous.

Cancer

Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Pancreatitis

Inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms begin as those of acute pancreatitis: a gradual or sudden severe pain in the center part of the upper abdomen goes through to the back, perhaps becoming worse when eating and building to a persistent pain; nausea and vomiting; fever; jaundice (yellowing of the skin); shock; weight loss; symptoms of diabetes mellitus. Chronic pancreatitis occurs when the symptoms of acute pancreatitis continue to recur.

Insulin

A hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver, muscles, and fat cells to remove glucose from the blood for use or storage.

Enzymes

Specific protein catalysts produced by the cells that are crucial in chemical reactions and in building up or synthesizing most compounds in the body. Each enzyme performs a specific function without itself being consumed. For example, the digestive enzyme amylase acts on carbohydrates in foods to break them down.

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