PANCREATIC CANCER REMOVAL
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 55,440 people were affected from pancreatic cancer in the year 2018. This accounts for 7% of all cancer-related diagnosis in the United States.
HOW COMMON ARE PANCREATIC TUMORS CANCEROUS?
Pancreatic cancer can be challenging to live with. Especially if the tumor turns out to be malignant. Research shows that almost 20% of all tumors found on the pancreas are cancerous or precancerous. If a tumor on your pancreas has been diagnosed as malignant, it means that the tumor is cancerous. You may require a surgical treatment to effectively eliminate the cancerous tumors and treat the affected areas of the pancreas.
At NJ Advanced Surgical Solutions, our team of qualified and renowned pancreatic cancer surgeons, led by the distinguished Dr. Val Prokurat, can work with you to find a surgical solution to treat your malignant pancreatic tumor. Our team of surgeons have extensive experience performing pancreatectomies on cancerous tumors. They can help you through this situation with focused care and support. If you’d like to know more about the surgery we offer and the type of results you can expect from it, feel free to speak to a member of our staff.
FIGHTING PANCREATIC CANCER WITH SURGICAL INTERVENTION
Malignant tumors are dangerous and can have a long-standing impact on the body. Treating them immediately after diagnosis is the best way to beat them. If radiation and chemo aren’t helping, we recommend choosing surgery.
When it comes to surgical treatments for removing cancerous and precancerous pancreatic tumors, there are two techniques that doctors can use:
Traditional open surgery: Here, the surgeon makes a very large incision on the body and uses a variety of large surgical instruments to operate on the pancreas. Despite it being a successful and helpful technique, the open surgery can add a lot of stress on the pancreas, stomach and intestines, leading to organ damage, tissue infection or further spread of the tumor. To avoid this, doctors recommend an alternative method.
Laparoscopic surgery: Here, the surgeon enters the pancreas laparoscopically – using thin, telescopic instruments to resect the tumors and using a telescopic probe to look into the pancreas.
At NJ Advanced Surgical Solutions, we implement the da Vinci® Surgical System to perform the laparoscopic surgery. Compared to other laparoscopic surgical instruments, the da Vinci® Surgical System is more accurate, flexible, doctor-friendly and offers immense control over both hand movement and visualization; making it the number one choice in laparoscopic technology.
If you choose to have the surgery at our medical center, Dr. Prokurat will recommend the da Vinci® Surgical System because of its safety and effectiveness.
FULL VS. PARTIAL PANCREATECTOMY
The hallmark of a malignant tumor is how fast it grows and spreads to other tissues and cells of the body. A cancerous or precancerous pancreatic tumor will often not restrict itself to the pancreas. The surgeon may find tumors in the stomach and the intestines too.
In this case, the pancreatectomy may entail the complete removal of the pancreas and the partial removal of the stomach and intestines, depending on the extensiveness of the cancer spread.
In a full or total pancreatectomy, the doctor will resect and open the part of the stomach to gain access to the pancreas. Once he does this, he will surgically remove the entire pancreas from the patient’s body. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, the surgeon may also remove the bile duct, the spleen, the gallbladder and the cancerous areas of the stomach and small intestine.
In order to aid the proper functioning of the digestive system post-surgery, the doctor will attach various tubes within the body. These tubes will help drain fluid from the abdomen, transfer soft or liquid food into the stomach/small intestine (until the patient is able to eat himself) and pass urine from the bladder.
In a partial pancreatectomy, the doctor will remove only the affected areas of the pancreas and may operate on the surrounding organs if the need arises. The tubes may be used, depending on how large a part of the pancreas is removed.
RECOVERY AND CARE
Pancreatectomy for cancerous tumors can be physically demanding for the patient. However, the effects are often successful and long reaching. Patients need to remain in the hospital for a few days after the surgery for monitoring. But, 2-3 days later, they can return home. Bed rest is recommended for the first week, after which, they can slowly return to their normal lives.
DIET AND EXERCISE
The doctor will recommend care in terms of the diet and exercise to be followed. Alcohol, carbonated & caffeinated beverages must be avoided. So should greasy and spicy food. Walking is the recommended exercise and weights and intense cardio should be avoided for a few months.
Medication and insulin supplements should be taken regularly. The doctor may prescribe an islet cell transplant if he feels the need for it. Otherwise external supplements should be enough.
MAINTAINING REGULAR SCREENINGS
Please remember that pancreatic cancer, just like any other type of cancer, poses the threat of a relapse. Regular visits to the doctor for screening can help you identify any signs or symptoms that may indicate a recurrence and can help you treat the condition immediately.
If you have any questions about the condition or need any more inputs about the treatment we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.