Pancreatic Cancer Treatment and Surgery
Surgical procedures for pancreatic cancer are either curative, which remove the tumor, or palliative, which relieve symptoms when the tumor has spread and cannot be removed. Our surgeons also treat benign tumors of the pancreas. These can be pre-cancerous (cystic tumors of the pancreas) or benign (pancreatic pseudocysts).
Surgical Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer
Surgeons use several different techniques to remove pancreatic tumors. In many cases, these procedures may take a minimally invasive approach.
- Distal Pancreatectomy: This procedure removes the body and tail of the pancreas. It often involves removing the spleen as well. Mount Sinai is a leader in performing this procedure laparoscopically, which results in a shorter hospital stay, less post-operative pain, and minimal scarring.
- Whipple Procedure, or Pancreaticoduodenectomy: The surgeon removes the head of the pancreas, part of the stomach and small intestine, the gallbladder and the common bile duct. The procedure leaves enough pancreas intact to produce insulin and digestive juices. Our surgeons favor leaving the entire stomach (pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy) when this does not compromise tumor removal.
- Total Pancreatectomy: The surgeon removes the entire pancreas and several surrounding structures. The procedure typically removes part of the stomach and small intestine, as well as the common bile duct, the gallbladder, the spleen, and nearby lymph nodes.
- Palliative Procedures: If the cancer has spread and surgeons cannot remove it, several treatments can help relieve symptoms.
Mount Sinai Surgical Associates
Division of Surgical Oncology
5 East 98th Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10029