The pancreas is an elongated, tapered organ located across the back of your abdomen, behind the stomach. Your pancreas is an integral part of the digestive system, producing juices that help break down food and hormones that help control blood sugar levels. Problems with the pancreas can lead to pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis and diabetes.
When you need them, Novant Health UVA Health System surgeons can perform several procedures to treat disorders of the pancreas, including:
Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenostomy)
This is a surgical procedure in which the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine and the bile duct are removed. Enough of the pancreas is left to produce digestive juices and insulin.
The body and the tail of the pancreas and usually the spleen are removed.
This operation removes the whole pancreas, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, the common bile duct, the gallbladder, the spleen and nearby lymph nodes.
This procedure is performed if the pancreas has blocked the main bile duct. A new connector to the bowel may need to be created to avoid jaundice.