A total pancreatectomy is performed in the rare situation that the tumor has invaded the head, neck, and tail of the pancreas. Similar to a Whipple procedure, the gallbladder, part of the duodenum which is the uppermost part of the small intestine, bottom portion of the stomach called the pylorus, and local lymph nodes are removed along with the entire pancreas. The spleen may also be removed.
Because the entire pancreas is removed in a total pancreatectomy, the person will be diabetic after surgery and must use insulin to control blood sugar level. The patient will also need to take pancreatic enzyme supplements with meals in order to properly digest food.
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