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Whipple procedure: patient selection and special considerations

Authors Tan-Tam C, Segedi M, Chung S

Received 1 November 2015

Accepted for publication 8 March 2016

Published 27 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 51—63

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAS.S99636

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Professor Nagahide Matsubara

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Cataldo Doria


Clara Tan-Tam,1 Maja Segedi,2 Stephen W Chung2

1Department of Surgery, Bassett Healthcare, Columbia University, Cooperstown, New York, NY, USA; 2Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery and Liver Transplant, Vancouver General Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Abstract: At the inception of pancreatic surgery by Dr Whipple in 1930s, the mortality and morbidity risk was more than 20%. With further understanding of disease processes and improvements in pancreas resection techniques, the mortality risk has decreased to less than 5%. Age and chronic illnesses are no longer a contraindication to surgical treatment. Life expectancy and quality of life at a later age have improved, making older patients more likely to receive pancreatic surgery , thereby also putting emphasis on operative patient selection to minimize complications. This review summarizes the benign and malignant illnesses that are treated with pancreas operations, and innovations and improvements in pancreatic surgery and perioperative care, and describes the careful selection process for patients who would benefit from an operation. These indications are not reserved only to Whipple operation, but to pancreatectomies as well.

Keywords: pancreaticoduodenectomy, mortality, morbidity, cancer, trauma, pancreatitis

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