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This article will cover important information about pancreas disease and surgery. The pancreas is a pivotal organ of the human body. It is responsible for the regulation of vital enzymes inside the body. These enzymes help regulate important chemical processes inside the body. Furthermore, it also produces insulin, which is an essential chemical that controls the blood sugar level. Enzymes and chemicals such as these help you absorb micro and macronutrients. Not to mention, the Pancreas plays an emphatic role in the digestion process as well.
Pancreatic disorders are one of the toughest medical issues to treat. The two most serious pancreatic disorders are exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and pancreatitis. EPI is an extremely harmful disorder that can lead to chronic pancreatitis.
Other disorders in the pancreas include cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer. Each of these conditions comes with varying symptoms and causes.
Condition of pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. An individual can have three types of pancreatitis, acute, chronic, and hereditary. Each of these three types constitutes a different cause and severity.
Acute pancreatitis can be an underlying cause of another condition, such as gallstones. It is a short term and sudden inflammation that you can face due to excessive use of harmful substances. These substances include drugs, alcohol, and unhealthy edibles that influence hormonal imbalance in the body. Therefore, any abnormalities in the electrolytes and lipids can lead to acute pancreatitis.
The pain associated with this condition is very severe. You can expect intense pain in the upper abdomen region, followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Apart from the many habitual triggers of this disease, it can also be a result of inheritance. Hence, doctors carry out the treatment for this disease according to the cause.
Unlike acute pancreatitis, the development of chronic pancreatitis is slow and progressive. Therefore, the symptoms gradually occur and can last much longer than acute pancreatitis. This condition can also lead to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. A person suffering from chronic pancreatitis encounters symptomatic episodes of diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.
One can also begin to lose weight. The slow progression of this disease can cause long-term damage to the pancreas. Lastly, since the pancreas regulates the blood glucose level and nutrient absorption, a person with chronic pancreatitis becomes highly vulnerable to diabetes and malnutrition.
Like chronic pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis is also a progressive condition. Genetic mutations cause the occurrence of this condition in an individual. With this disease, a person can start showing symptoms as early as 30 years old. Further complications will also cause a person to develop the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis. Doctors usually treat this condition with the help of PERT and pain management.
EPI is a condition that makes a person highly enzyme deficient. The deficiency of enzymes can lead to severe consequences. The pancreas loses its functionality to release nutrient-absorbing enzymes and causes malnourishment. Another indication of this disorder is the excessive fat in a person’s stool.
A doctor resorts to surgical solutions for pancreatitis when the pancreas becomes unable to secrete essential fluids. This inability is usually due to tissue scarring of the pancreas, which the inflammation causes. Surgeons will either create a new passageway from the pancreas to the small intestine to exhibit the flow of the fluids. Alternatively, the surgeons will remove the infected tissue from the pancreas.
This surgical procedure heals the central part and the tails of the pancreas. This particular surgical approach involves the surgeons operating on the pancreatic duct. This duct is an organic tube that covers the pancreas and makes the essential fluids flow inside.
The surgeons take this duct and attach it to the small intestine, where most of the digestion and absorption takes place. By doing so, the doctors counter the problems with nutrient absorption. Once they form the connection between the digestive enzymes and the food particles, the patient starts to build back their nutrition intake.
Surgeons decide to take this surgical approach when the infectious cavity starts causing massive damage to the pancreas. The spread of inflammation in a muscle cavity will cause the pancreas muscles to die. In this case, the doctor needs to proceed with a pancreatic resection to stop the inflammation from causing further destruction. For this procedure, the doctor removes the infectious areas of the pancreas to keep it from spreading and causing other complications.
The recovery time of the surgery can depend on the type of the surgery also your condition. Open surgery usually accounts for a longer recovery time because the incision wound needs rest time to heal. However, if the surgeon uses another technique in which the incisions are small, then you can expect the recovery to be faster.
If you or anyone you know are suffering from pancreatic problems, then visit Lenox Hill Surgeons. We provide you with the best surgeons, specialized in treating pancreas diseases. Visit our website or call us today to schedule an appointment:
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The pancreas plays an important role in human digestion. One of its major functions is to release the hormones insulin and glucagon that regulate the blood sugar level. The diseases and disorders of pancreas like pancreatitis are less common, and the treatment requires no surgery. However, a surgery is inevitable when treating a severe disorder or removing a tumor.
Open surgery and laparoscopy are the options available for the pancreas surgery. Open surgery involves either the removal of a certain part of the pancreas where the tumor is growing or the removal of other parts of digestive organs as well like gall bladder, stomach, small intestine, and common bile duct. The type of surgery depends upon the stage of cancer.
Whipple procedure or pancreatic resection involves the removal of the pancreatic head, duodenum of the small intestine, gall bladder and bile duct. This surgical procedure treats pancreatic cancer and other disorders of the pancreas. Whipple procedure is a complex and risky surgical treatment, but very effective and life-saving for treating pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, bile duct cancer, serious trauma or injury in the pancreas and ampullary cancer.
The name of the procedure that involves the removal the left side of the pancreas ( body and tail) to eradicate the growing tumor is distal pancreatectomy. Your surgeon might need to remove the spleen attached with pancreas as well.
Total pancreatectomy is the removal of the pancreas when tumor has spread all over the pancreas. Other common procedures cannot treat this issue. You can live without pancreas normally. However, you will need a supply of insulin, glucagon, and other important hormones and enzymes.
Minimal Invasive Laparoscopy for pancreas involves removing the tumor or a small part of the pancreas with small incisions. Your surgeon will make three to four keyhole incisions in your pancreas and remove the infected or injured portion with tumor growth.
The pancreatic disorder includes the production of cysts in the pancreas. Cysts in the pancreas are large fluid-filled sacks that can disturb the normal functioning of the pancreas and can even turn cancerous. Pseudocyst drainage involves inserting a tube or needle into the cysts or pseudocysts to drain the cysts from the pancreas.
Islet cells in the pancreas are responsible for the production of insulin. Impairment in islet cells leads to an insufficient production of insulin leading to Diabetes type 1. Islet cell transplantation can potentially cure diabetes. Healthy islet cells from the donor are harvested and transplanted into the pancreas of the patient.
To have the best outcome of the pancreas surgery, it is crucial to have the surgery from a highly qualified and experienced surgeon. In rare cases, there can be come complications. The complications include bleeding, infection, development of diabetes ( temporary or permanent), leaking, etc. if the surgeon fails to join the organs after removing multiple parts from the digestive system. The pancreas surgery can lead to weight loss and change in the bowel functions.
Lenox Hill Surgeons have NYC’s best and most qualified surgeons for treating pancreatic cancers and disorders. With Lenox Hill Surgeons your pancreatic surgeries are complication-free. We promise to provide you the best treatment for your surgery and quick recovery.
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Pancreaticoduodenectomy – what a mouthful! This long word is the technical name for one of the most common pancreas surgery procedures. Also known as the Whipple procedure, this surgery involves removing a diseased section of the pancreas. But what even is the pancreas? Why do we need it? And what should you expect if you need this surgery?
Many people would likely have difficulty pointing up the location of the pancreas, let alone naming what it does. The pancreas can be found in the abdomen, just behind the stomach. It is a small organ, not more than a few inches long, but one of the most essential organs for daily life. The pancreas is responsible for the creation of specific chemicals that the body uses for digestion. These chemicals, also known as enzymes, are used to break down the food that we eat. without these enzymes, we would be unable to process the fat, proteins, and carbs within our food into energy.
At the same time, the pancreas also responsible for creating the two hormones that monitor and regulate blood sugar- insulin and glucagon. In cases where the pancreas is unable to produce the hormones and enzymes it should, serious and life-threatening side effects can develop.
When functioning properly, the pancreas is an essential organ for regulating energy levels and providing the body with the nutrients it requires. However, in some cases, the pancreas can pose a potential threat to the rest of the body. For example, in the case of pancreatitis, those enzymes used to digest food begin the process of digestion on the pancreas itself.
Other times, the pancreas can develop cancer. This can be a serious risk, as cancer can spread to other parts of the body. This makes the pancreas a risk to the other organs within the body.
During the procedure for pancreas surgery, you will be anaesthetized and the surgeons will do what they do best. Depending on your specific needs, they may remove certain sections of the pancreas and even surrounding tissue. Usually, the general needs can be identified long before the surgery starts. Some decisions need to be made while the surgery is happening. That is why you want to have the best surgeons you can find working with you!
Once the surgery has been completed, a short stay is to be expected. This gives us an excellent opportunity to closely monitor your recovery, vital signs, and medication use to ensure you are healing properly. Your stay will likely not be more than a few days, but full recovery from pancreas surgery can take up to a few months. While you recover, there are a few side effects and changes you can expect. The first and most common is operation site pain or discomfort. Digestive problems have also been noted. As the pancreas plays such a large part in digestion, it is only to be expected that the body will have to adjust to a new way of doing things. The most noteworthy aspect of this is the fact that you will not be able to eat for a few days after the surgery.
Any time there is a procedure near the abdomen, there is a potential for essential skills such as walking and sitting up to be impaired. It will be important to, in accordance with your specific instructions from your surgeon, stay active to the extent possible.
Are you in need of pancreas surgery? Call the best surgeons in NYC for a consultation today.
LENOX HILL SURGEONS
The pancreas being a key organ of the endocrine and digestive systems of the body is indispensable for the smooth functioning of the human body. Hence, a diseased condition of the pancreas, like a tumor, abscess or malignancy that causes pancreatitis and makes the dysfunctional organ calls for pancreatic surgery. There are different methods, or kinds of pancreas surgery and the type that a patient will have to opt for will depend upon whether his or her pancreatitis is chronic or acute.
More often than not, the condition or syndrome can be treated and managed without going for invasive intervention or surgery. Nevertheless, if an infection or degeneration of the pancreatic tissues becomes longstanding and acute, surgery is the only treatment option.
The most common pancreatic surgery procedures include minimally invasive pancreatic resection, spleen-preserving pancreatectomy, ‘The Whipple’, and Enucleation of pancreatic tumor.’ Minimally invasive pancreatic resection surgery is conducted laparoscopically giving the interventional radiologist or gastroenterologist good access to the abdomen via tiny keyhole notches. This surgical method is appropriate for patients having pancreatic cysts.
Spleen-preserving pancreatectomy is conducted laparoscopically where the pancreas is excised, but the spleen is kept intact for preserving its immunological functionality as well as minimize the risks of complications and infections in the future. The traditional pancreatectomy method entails the removal of the spleen along with the metastatic pancreas for reversing the spread of cancer. Nevertheless, if the surgery is carried out for a benign condition like pancreatic tumor or cyst, then spleen resection is not necessary.
Enucleation process is appropriate for dealing with benign or non-cancerous tumors where these are scraped out carefully instead of expurgating a large pancreatic section.
‘The Whipple’ surgery or ‘pancreaticoduodenectomy’ is the go-to procedure for treating pancreatic cancer and also for dealing with complications or abscesses related to the bile duct, intestine, and pancreas. The surgery where the top of the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder, and duodenum are removed can be extremely complex and demanding, fraught with risks.
If the surgery is for treating pancreatitis or tumors, then opting for laparoscopic surgery is the best option. In such a case, recuperation is faster necessitating a shorter hospital stay. However, if the surgery is for pancreatic cancer, then the operation lasts for several hours and the patient may have to be in the hospice for at least a week.
Complete recovery might take many weeks and even months. Benefits of going for a major pancreatic surgery are:-
Pancreatic surgeries for dealing with cancer tend to be extremely complicated, and it is no wonder that such operations have a very high mortality rate. Nearly 50% of the patients report grave complications and about 2%-4% expire. The most common risks include:-
Fully recuperating from a complex pancreas surgery takes time and the convalescing process could be exhausting, especially for older patients. You’ll be required to report to your surgeon 1-2 times in a month following your recovery. The doctor will evaluate your progress and may recommend CT or MRI scans, and blood tests to ensure that there is no recurrence of cancerous tumors or lesions.
Dietary and lifestyle changes to have to be made to maintain overall health and also to reduce the risks of relapse.
Pancreatic cancer and all other serious complications of the pancreas are, by and large, regarded as untreatable and hence incurable. Nevertheless, the mortality rates related to pancreatic cancer (post surgery) have steadily declined over the decades.
Living without a pancreas can be a challenge for any individual. If you’re diagnosed with a tumor or inflammation of your pancreas, you can continue to live an almost normal life, provided you opt for an appropriate treatment plan and abide by our physician’s guidelines. If you’ve cancer, then surgical removal of the pancreas is the only option. However, you’ll have to keep your fingers crossed on whether cancer will recur or not.