Surgery and Other Procedures1 Comment

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Hi. My dad has been gone through a surgery call whipple surgery. Now he is out and recovering process has started. How long does it take for him to fully recover? Will he be the same condition as before the surgery?

1 Comment on this article

  • Dr. Chris September 13, 2010

    Whipple surgery is the removal (resection) of a part of the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder and a portion of the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It is a procedure done as part of the treatment of cancer of the pancreas and/or bile duct. It may also be conducted for the removal of benign tumors or diseases where there has been extensive damage to the pancreas and surrounding areas as a result of chronic pancreatitis.

    It is difficuly to say how long it will take your dad to recover. It depends on his age, health status, past medical history and so on. If there are any complications after surgery, like post operative infections, then the recovery time is even longer.

    It is also difficult to say how he will be after the recovery period because it depends on why the surgery was done as well the factors mentioned above under recovery time. Whipple’s surgery is a very safe procedure so it is not often a concern about the surgery itself but rather about the condition that led to the need for surgery.

    Depending on how extensive the procedure was, he could be up and on his feet within 4 to 6 weeks. Sometimes sooner or if there were complications, it may take longer. Older patients, diabetics and depending on the stage of the cancer, FULL recovery could be as long as a year. Ideally you should discuss your concerns with his attending physician as well as the surgeon. They will be in a better position to answer your questions.


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