The pancreas is a critical organ that regulates digestive and hormonal function. There are multiple conditions that could require pancreatic surgery, including:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • Pancreatitis

Symptoms that may indicate a problem with the pancreas include:

  • Persistent abdominal pain in the upper left or upper middle abdomen
  • Pain that is worse when lying on the back
  • Pain that is worse within minutes after eating or drinking
  • Weight loss
  • Loose, floating stools due to malabsorption
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin)

The Surgery
In the majority of cases, surgery of the pancreas involves removing the diseased portion of the organ. These surgical procedures are major operations, requiring several hours in the operating room. Patients remain in the hospital for about a week after the surgery and will need several weeks to more fully recuperate. Other surgical procedures for pancreatitis include fluid drainage from the pancreas or surgical opening of the pancreatic duct.

Riverside Gastroenterology