Will I become diabetic?
- This is possible in around 40% of patients after pancreatic resections. This depends on the status and the size of the remnant pancreas.
How long will I be in hospital?
- Average hospital stay after whipple's resection is 10 days, after distal pancreatectomy, it is 5 days if completed laproscopically and 8-10 days in open cases.
What are surgical drains?
- These are plastic tubes positioned in the surgical area to ensure that any blood or fluid is drained out of the abdomen. These will be removed within 5-10 days from surgery unless there are complications such as leak. In these cases the drain is left till the leak heals. However, patients may be discharged home with a drain and reviewed regularly in out patient clinic.
When will I go back to work?
- This depends on many factors including the type of surgery performed, the indication for surgery, your fitness and type of work. This will be decided with patients before discharge
When can I drive a car?
- It is usually around six weeks after surgery before you can try driving again. You must be moving freely enough and able to perform an emergency stop without discomfort or difficulty.
Will I be in pain after surgery?
- After key hole surgery there is less pain as there will be no large incisions. In open surgery, pain will be initially controlled with epidural, oral and intravenous pain killers. You will be discharged on regular pain killers, however at that stage there should be no significant pain but some discomfort which will continue to improve and normally resolves in 3 weeks.
Will I need chemotherapy as well?
- This depends on the type of tumour and your state of health. This will be decided after discussing the histological findings in the Multidisciplinary team meeting. In almost all patients with malignant cancers, chemotherapy may offer clear advantages in terms of improving quality of life and prognosis.
Can I drink alcohol?
- In the first few weeks after major pancreatic surgery it is wise to be cautious and avoid alcohol. Patients with alcohol related diseases such as chronic and acute pancreatitis alcohol should be completely stopped.
Am I going to be followed up?
- Yes you will be regularly seen in outpatient clinic in the first year. Follow up will be continued based on your disease and clinical needs
Do I need regular medications following major pancreatic surgery?
- Yes, in addition to any regular medication you are regularly on, you will need to take; pancreatic enzyme supplements to help with food digestion, calcium and multivitamins for life. Tablets to protect your stomach will be needed for at least 6 months.