Surgical removal of a part or all of the pancreas is called pancreatectomy.
Located across the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach, the pancreas is an organ which exhibits both endocrine and exocrine functions. It is connected to the duodenum by the pancreatic duct. It secretes pancreatic juice which contains digestive enzymes for the digestion and absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, It also produces hormones like insulin, glucagon, somatostatin and pancreatic polypeptide. Insulin and glucagon play a vital role in maintaining optimal blood sugar levels and utilization and storage of energy from food.
Clinical conditions involving the pancreas include Diabetes (Type I and Type II), pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) , cysts, tumors, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer.
Patients presenting with conditions such as Necrotising pancreatitis, severe chronic pancreatitis, severe trauma, neoplasms, adenocarcinomas, cysts, islet cell tumors, cancer of the bile duct, ampuluary cancer and duodenal cancer are advised pancreatectomy. Pancreatectomy is the surgical removal of a part or all of the pancreas.
Types of pancreatectomy include Pancreaticduodenectomy, distal pancreatectomy, segmental pancreatectomy and total pancreatectomy.
Pancreatectomy can be performed by two approaches:
- Open surgery
- Laparoscopic surgery
In the open procedure, a large surgical cut is made on the side of the abdomen and the affected portion of the pancreas or all of it is disconnected form the surrounding blood vessels and removed.
In the laparoscopic approach, the surgeon makes three to four tiny incisions in the abdomen and enters the laparoscope and instruments through these incisions. The surrounding vessels are disconnected and the affected portion or all of the pancreas is placed inside a bag inside the body itself and removed through one of the incisions.
Why Laparoscopic surgery over open surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery is less painful and has fewer complications as the abdominal muscles are not cut. The recovery is faster and the patients are mobile within a few hours after the surgery. The cosmetic results are excellent as compared to an open surgery.