What is the role of total pancreatectomy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer?

Updated: Mar 07, 2019
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Answer

Although this procedure is the least commonly performed and has the highest associated mortality rate (8.3%), it may still be a valuable instrument in the surgical cure of pancreatic cancer. [81]

The indication for the use of total pancreatectomy is in cases in which the tumor involves the neck of the pancreas. This can either be a situation in which the tumor originates from the neck or is growing into the neck. These patients obviously get insulin-dependent diabetes. In some cases, the diabetes can be hard to control. Despite this, the morbidity of a total pancreatectomy is comparable to that of a Whipple procedure. [88]


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