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Life After Whipple Surgery: A cure for Pancreatic Cancer

20 Jul, 2022

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team


Your surgeon might suggest having Whipple surgery if you’re suffering from pancreatic cancer. However, Whipple surgery is a complex procedure that may require additional lifestyle changes during your recovery period. Here we will understand the benefits of Whipple surgery and the necessary changes you need to make after the same. Keep reading to learn more.

What are the benefits of Whipple surgery?

The Whipple procedure has one significant advantage: it may save your life.

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In comparison to the overall prognosis (outcome) of pancreatic cancer (only about 5% survive five years after diagnosis), the Whipple procedure is one of the only known treatment modalities capable of giving hope to people with pancreatic cancer and a chance to survive.

The reason the overall pancreatic cancer survival rate is so low is that pancreatic cancer frequently begins to grow and spread (metastasize) long before symptoms appear. When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, it is frequently too late for surgery to be effective.

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So, the main advantage of having a Whipple procedure is that early screening and diagnosis can allow people to live for many years in relatively good health. Most people who have had pancreatic cancer will require other therapy as an adjuvant(such as chemotherapy) even after successful Whipple surgery.

How is life after Whipple surgery?

As per our expert GI & Bariatric Surgeons, after a successful Whipple surgery, the following are the changes that you need to make to your regular lifestyle.

1. Start taking enzyme supplements:

Some people have a shortage of digestive enzymes (normally produced by the pancreas) after a Whipple procedure and must take supplements with each meal to properly digest their food. That’s why you should include some of these below-mentioned FDA-approved pancreatic enzyme supplements.

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Over-the-counter pancreatic enzymes are not recommended; instead, consult with your healthcare provider to determine whether pancreatic enzyme supplements are appropriate for you following your Whipple procedure.

2. Establish an exercise routine:

Getting back to normal activity after a Whipple procedure has always been part of the recovery process. However, studies have shown that doing exercise and working out before surgery also has some positive effects on the surgical outcome.

The following are the benefits that you can have after getting Whipple surgery.

-Blood flow and chemotherapy delivery to cancerous tissues are improved.

-You will have fewer side effects after chemotherapy.

-Increased energy levels

-Improvement in mental health (improved mood and lower levels of anxiety and depression)

-Gaining a sense of empowerment (as study participants felt they were participating more in their own treatment and recovery).

Experts may disagree on the duration of physical activity before and after a Whipple procedure. When beginning any type of physical exercise, consult with your healthcare team and follow their recommendations.

3. Have a healthy diet:

Diet is one of the most common lifestyle changes that people who have had a Whipple procedure must make. If you are experiencing digestive issues, it is critical to seek professional advice; ask your healthcare provider or surgeon to refer you to a dietitian for specific dietary recommendations.

-If you're having digestive issues, talk to your doctor about pancreatic enzymes.

-Take stomach acid-reducing medications as directed by your surgeon or other healthcare providers.

-Limit your intake of fried, greasy, and high-fat foods (or eat them in small quantities).

- Try having at least 2.5-3 cups of fresh fruits and vegetables.

How can healthtrip help with the treatment?

If you are in search of pancreatic cancer treatment in India, we will serve as your guide throughout your treatment and will be physically present with you even before your medical treatment begins. The following will be provided to you:

  • Opinions of expert physicians and surgeons
  • Transparent communication
  • Coordinated care
  • Prior appointment with specialists
  • Assistance with hospital formalities
  • 24*7 availability
  • Arrangement for travel
  • Assistance for accommodation and healthy recovery
  • Assistance in emergencies

We are dedicated to offering the highest quality health trip to our patients. We have a team of highly qualified and devoted health trip advisors that will be by your side from the beginning of your journey.

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Whipple surgery can offer a chance for survival and extended life to pancreatic cancer patients.