Pancreatic surgery encompasses a wide variety of surgical procedures concerning the pancreas (a gland located behind the stomach just below the liver). Disorders of pancreas can be divided onto those caused by tumors (benign or malignant) and those caused by inflammation (acute or chronic).
The majority of surgical procedures performed on the pancreas involve resection (removal) of the portion that is involved in the disease process. Prior to any operation on the pancreas the patient undergoes testing and is evaluated by multidisciplinary team of physicians. The management approaches to acute and chronic pancreatitis are different and may not necessarily involve surgical intervention. Often excellent results can be achieved through medical management.
A major pancreatic resection takes approximately 4-6 hours and in most cases is performed without blood transfusion (see bloodless surgery). The post-operative hospital stay is about 7 days and complete recuperation time is expected in 6 weeks. In properly selected patients, excellent operative results and future quality of life are achieved.