Surgical Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer
The type of surgical operation for pancreatic tumors depend on the location of the tumor in the pancreas and on the type of the tumor.
Adenocarcinoma of the pancreas
Aggressive surgical treatment is offered for patients with an adenocarcinoma of the pancreas since this tumor is associated with a poor outcome if not completely eradicated by surgery. For tumors located in the head of the pancreas, a Whipple operation is indicated. For tumors in the body and tail of the pancreas a radical distal pancreatectomy is performed, a procedure in which the spleen and the body and tail of the pancreas are removed.
Pancreas preservation surgery procedures for benign tumors
In patients with less aggressive cancers and benign disease, aggressive surgical treatment may be indicated only in selected circumstances. Our philosophy is to emphasize organ preservation where possible.
The types of tumors for which less aggressive surgical treatment is often indicated include premalignant (precancerous) conditions such as cystic tumors of the pancreas, and mucinous ductal hyperplasia (where only the lining of the pancreatic duct is cancerous) and endocrine tumors of the pancreas.
Pancreas preservation surgery procedures offered at USC are:
Laparoscopic pancreatic surgery
We have pioneered laparoscopic pancreatic surgery. This type of surgery is associated with much less post surgical pain, rapid recovery from surgery and early discharge from the hospital compared to open surgery. Patients experience rapid return to their presurgical condition and early return to work. The types of tumors for which laparoscopic surgical treatment is often indicated include premalignant conditions such as cystic tumors of the pancreas, mucinous ductal hyperplasia (where only the lining of the pancreatic duct is cancerous) and islet cell tumors of the pancreas.
The laparoscopic procedures offered at USC are: