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Pancreatic Program



Whipple Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer

Whipple Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer and Disease at Methodist Dallas

What is the Whipple procedure?

Methodist Dallas Medical Center is the first hospital in the nation awarded certification by The Joint Commission for pancreatic surgery and the first in Texas awarded certification for pancreatic cancer. The Whipple procedure, also known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy, is an operation most often performed to remove a growth from the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), the bile duct, or the head of the pancreas. Whipple surgery is also done to treat pancreatic cysts in the head of the pancreas, chronic pancreatitis or strictures in the pancreatic duct or bile duct.

The Whipple procedure operation consists of removing the gallbladder, part of the bile duct, the duodenum, and the head of the pancreas and sometimes the lower portion of the stomach. Whipple surgery generally takes three to five hours to complete. You may or may not require a blood transfusion during the surgery.

Depending on the reason for the Whipple procedure and exact location of the problem, this surgery can be performed either laparoscopically (with cameras and several small punctures) or as open surgery using a larger incision. Your doctor will let you know which type is planned for you.

da Vinci® Robotic Whipple for Pancreatic Cancer

Methodist Dallas Medical Center was among the first hospitals in the country to offer advanced minimally invasive, fully robotic Whipple surgery, or pancreaticoduodenectomy.

When the Whipple procedure is performed with the aid of a robot, patients benefit from five small incisions rather than one large incision.

Potential benefits of the robotic Whipple surgery vs. traditional open Whipple surgery include:

  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Fewer complications
  • Less scarring
  • A shorter hospital stay
  • Faster healing, which enables patients to begin chemotherapy and radiation treatment more quickly

Learn more about the fully robotic Whipple surgery performed by surgeons on the medical staff at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. 

A national epicenter for innovative, progressive care of pancreatic cancer

In September 2014, Dr. Alejandro Mejia, a transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon at Methodist Health System, was designated as an epicenter surgeon by Intuitive Surgical (Intuitive is the maker of the da Vinci® robotic surgical system).  This is the first hepatobiliary-focused general surgery robotic epicenter designated by Intuitive Surgical.  

The epicenter designation recognizes Methodist Dallas’ quality outcomes, compassionate care, and leadership in advanced treatment options for liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other diseases of the liver, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract. The epicenter will draw surgeons from across the country to learn about these advanced treatments from our experts. 

Whipple surgery patient guide 

Patient Guide to Whipple Surgery Download the Pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple Surgery) Patient Guide to learn more about the Whipple procedure and find answers to questions about the Whipple procedure, including: 

  • How will my lifestyle be affected with a portion of my pancreas removed?
  • Pre-surgery appointments and preparation 
  • What to expect after Whipple surgery  
  • Pain expectations and pain management after Whipple surgery 
  • The care team 

Contact the Pancreatic Cancer Program at Methodist Dallas

For more information about pancreatic cancer treatment options and pancreatic cancer resources at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, call at 214-933-6601

Physicians performing the da Vinci® Robotic Whipple at Methodist Dallas Medical Center:

Information contained on these pages has been gathered from independent sources and is for informational use only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and information provided by your health care provider. Any decision you make regarding your health care options should be made after consulting a qualified physician.

Sources:
American Cancer Society 
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network  
Staywell Health Library  

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System.

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Methodist Health System Foundation

P.O. Box 655999 Dallas, Texas 75265-5999  |  1-877-637-4297