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Pancreatic Cancer/Whipple procedure

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2001

My mother was diagnosed last month with pancreatic ca, and underwent the Whipple procedure to remove the tumor. All of the duodenum was removed, 2/3 of the stomach and 1/3 of the pancreas. The tumor was growing in such a way as to occlude the common bile duct causing jaundice. The tumor did not show on any CT scans, and the ERCP was not completed due to the tumor occluding the bile duct. The common bile duct was also punctured during the ERCP. Now, just over three weeks post op, she is facing a "failure to thrive" in that she is unable to eat much due to the 2 to 3 ounce pocket left of the stomach, and the lack of taste in any and all foods. What tastes good once does not the next time, and most foods have no taste at all.
Does anyone have any suggestions on improving the taste of foods, or alternative feeding methods? She does have a J-tube in place for tube feedings, but these were causing diarrhea and nausea and vomiting. The tube feedings were stopped about two weeks ago.
She is down from 146 lbs to 117 in less than two months since the illnes began showing symptoms. An abscess did form secondary to the puncturing of the common bile duct during the ERCP, which has been drained, and antibiotics given, Keflex 500mg QID for 10 days (one dose left).
I have tried various foods, wasted a lot of food items along the way, along with Carnation INstant Breakfast milkshakes, breakfast bars, etc...
With the low survival rate of pancreatic ca victims, any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2004

My husband just had the whipple procedure. 1/3 pancrease, along with the duo, gall,and some of the small intestines. None of the stomach. However, eating was problem also for us. He wanted popsicles, grapes, peaches anything with juice. Chicken noodle soup, Kraft macaroni and cheese. Don't give up it does get better. Rice pudding was the other thing he wanted. Wight loss 248 down to 25. When we came home from the hospital I was lucky to get 1tbsp of rice pudding in him at breakfast lunch and dinner. Gave him plenty of fluids. What a worry but thank God we are over that part. Foods still don't taste the same. We are told it will come back. God Bless you all.

Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2011

How do we get in touch with people who posted 5-10 years ago? Anyone?

Posts: 170
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Nuff,
I'm a 58 year old man and I underwent the same surgery with the same tumor in 2001. I lost 125lbs. and ended up going to a larger hospital where they informed me that the idiot that did my surgery failed to make a hole for food to go through after reconnecting what was left of my stomach to the small intestine.
Have them make sure there is a hole where the surgeon re-connected the stomach to the small intestine for the food to leave the stomach. I've been told that the hole cane close up on it's own after the surgery.

I ended up going to a much larger hospital to see a surgeon that specialized in Whipple's. He said he was going to re-do the surgery but I collapsed in his office while I was there and they ran me to the ER and then admitted me. They ran several tests and scans and then told me that they couldn't do the surgery as it was very doubtful that I would survive it as I was in such bad condition.
He also said that the surgeon had done the Whipple the same way that Dr. Whipple had done them in 1939 and that they are not done that way due to so many problems afterwards.
I went home with little hope of living much longer.
About 2 weeks later I dropped to the ground in horrible pain as something had ripped in my intestines, apparently the ripping formed it's own hole and about a week later small bits of soft foods started going through and I started becoming stronger.

That was 9 years ago!

I did not receive chemo or radiation before or after the Whipple.

In December of 2009 I was diagnosed with Squamous Cell cancer in my lymph node in my neck and have undergone 13 surgical procedures, chemo and radiation. After the Whipple disaster by the idiot surgeon I was left with great difficulties having normal bowel movements and pain attacks that come on fast and have caused me to pass out from the pain. The other surgeons tell me it's because the idiot surgeon had cut nerves that he shouldn't have.

Now, due to being over-radiated due to a malfunctioning machine I have lost all nerve function in my bowels and they are trying to figure out what to do next as I haven't had a bowel movement in three weeks and am becoming toxic. I am returning to the hospital today for further procedures with a new GI doctor.

I hope this info helps your mother.


Posts: 11
Joined: Jan 2011


I would seek a legal advice and if there is any ground sue the idiot. I cannot believe I've read that! Unreal!

You are a miracle! Best of luck in the future.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2017

awaiting to do pet scan tomorrow!!.. very active lost about 12 pounds since sept.no pains. have adenocarcinoma in pancreas 2 small nodules found in lung 1 2mm 1 8 mms hoping that the larger was a cause of bronchitis i had week before chest scan... i feel fine ... no jaundice and actually have a respectible appetite!... better than last 2 months... walk 10 12 miles a day... but of course i expect the worse  with pet scan!!!!!!!  i want to beat this thing... i have a wife and 2 kids.... thank you...

Oneshot's picture
Posts: 104
Joined: Jul 2009


Was checking the boards and saw your post. I just wanted to reply and let you know my prayers are with you and your family . 

You might read some of the posts on here from people who have had to go through the same or very similar circumstances .  While each one of us is different in our own battle  with cancer.  There has been a lot of good info posted on these boards over the years.


Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2017

My Father In Law has Been Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer which has Metastisized to His Liver only small @ lesions on his Liver and the Pancreas is only about 2mm and The Surgeon we were just referred to Who i thought was going to be Amazing Told us to place him in Palliative Care he is done !! I might add he was Jandice from Blockage of Bile Duct they removed it and Now Janudice is almost gone his appetite is back even though 30 lb weight loss and he is Doing so much Better we have been feeding him only Veggies Healthy Fats and Lots of Green Tea lol What is the Whipple Procedure and where can he get it WE are in Canada and They keep telling us nothing they can do UGHHH

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 1781
Joined: Nov 2009

Dear MishyV:

My husband has pancreatic cancer.  At first he was jaundic and they found a blockage in his Bile Duct.  He also lost over 30 pounds in the beginning.  They put a stent in and that relieved his jaundice.   The biopsies kept coming back inconclusive so about a year later it was determined that he did in fact have pancreatic cancer.   Before you can get a whipple procedures, you have to do scans and if it is possible to perform the procedure then you are approved to do it.  With my husband it was questionable because the mass was laying on a vein.  We went to another doctor who indicated that in my husband's case surgery would be possible and if the vein was in fact involved they may have to do reconstructive surgery.  He had to do a round of chemo first (6 treatments) and 3 of the drugs were given to him at an infusion center and the 4th drug he had to come home with a pump for 48 hours.  He did this every 2 weeks.   Then they decided to radiate the area to make a cutting line around the mass.  Only then did they perform the whipple surgery (robotically).   Luckily the mass was only laying on the vein and it lifted right off.  The surgery itself lasted longer than expected (over 7 hours) but he did fine, only a little build up of fluid under one of the incisions.   He is now doing the back end of chemo (another round of 6 treatments).   

All cases are different.  I would get a second opinion if you can.   I wish the best for your father-in-law.


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