Jefferson University Hospitals

Distal & Total Pancreatectomy

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States. The only way to cure pancreatic cancer is through surgery and only when the surgeon believes all of the cancer can be removed.

What Does Distal Pancreatectomy Involve?

A distal pancreatectomy is a procedure in which the tail and body of the pancreas are removed, usually along with the entire spleen. Sometimes part of the body of the pancreas can be preserved.

What Does Total Pancreatectomy Involve?

A total pancreatectomy is a seldom-used procedure that removes the entire pancreas and spleen. When the entire pancreas is removed, the endocrine cells in it are also removed, which will leave you with no islet cells. Because islet cells make insulin, which controls blood sugar levels in the body, removal of the entire pancreas will result in diabetes. You will then be dependent on insulin injections.

Why Choose Jefferson for Distal and Total Pancreatectomy in Philadelphia?

The world-class surgeons at Jefferson integrate surgery with oncology, pathology, pharmacology, gastroenterology, pain management, palliative care, genetics and nursing to ensure the best care possible. Studies indicate that outcomes are better for patients who undergo this surgery at a medical center where surgeons perform a high volume of these operations. Jefferson surgeons perform more than 140 pancreatic resections annually.