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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

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Pancreatectomy- An Overview - Part 2

What Are The Risks And Complications Of Post Pancreatectomy?

Complications associated with pancreatectomy include:

  • Delayed gastric emptying, where the food does not pass quickly enough into the intestine
  • Leakage of pancreatic enzymes into the abdomen from the site of attachment of the remaining pancreas
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Removal of spleen can result in reduced immunity

Following complete pancreatectomy, the patient may suffer from:

  • Insulin deficiency
  • Absence of digestive enzymes
  • Liver failure
  • Peptic ulcers

What Should A Patient Expect After The Surgery?

  • Some patients who have had part of their pancreas removed may require insulin. The doctor will determine this during the course of the hospital stay.
  • Patients who are already or who become diabetic after pancreas surgery will likely need to monitor their blood sugar levels. In addition, one will likely need to follow a diabetic diet and may need to take pancreatic enzymes which help digest food.
  •  If one has their entire pancreas removed (completion Pancreatectomy or total pancreatectomy), one will need lifelong insulin therapy. The insulin requirements will be determined during the hospital stay, and one will receive education on how to manage the blood sugar (glucose) levels

How A Patient Should Take Care At Home Post Pancreatectomy?

  • One should take care of the incision carefully. One might take shower if their doctor prescribes to do so and apply ointment from time to time.
  • One should completely avoid smoking and consuming alcohol.
  • One should stay hydrated. Nutritional supplements such as Boost or Ensure may also be used to increase caloric and protein intake. There are alternative supplements for diabetic patients.
  • One might walk as much as possible. However, one should not climb stairs or lift heavy objects.
  • One must contact doctor if any complications occur.


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