Surgery for chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatectomy or resection of a your pancreas

Chronic pancreatitis is a debilitating condition that may require surgery. Our HCA gastroenterologists can treat you

About chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis occurs when your pancreas has become permanently damaged from inflammation. As a result it no longer functions properly. In these severe cases, surgery to remove part (resection) or all of your pancreas (pancreatectomy) may be required. 

Need to know

  • What happens dury surgery for chronic pancreatitis? icon plus

    There are different surgical treatment options for chronic pancreatitis. These include:
    • For patients with gallstones near the pancreatic duct, shock waves are used to break the stones down (lithotripsy). An endoscope (long tube with a camera and light) and surgical tools are used to access the pancreatic duct, and your surgeon removes the stones
    • Resection (Whipple's procedure) where the inflamed parts of your pancreas are removed with surgical instruments
    • In some cases the entire pancreas may need to be removed. This and resection are both carried out under general anaesthetic
  • How to prepare for surgery icon plus

    For your consultant to decide upon the surgery your require for your chronic pancreatitis, you may undergo a range of tests. These can include:
    • Blood tests
    • Stool (poo) examination to assess if you are digesting fat in the right way
    • CT, MRI and/or ultrasound scan to see the extent of pancreas inflammation/gallstones

    Your consultant will of course advise you on what to wear, as well as food and drink intake on the day of your procedure. They will also recommend if you need to stop taking any medication beforehand.
  • After surgery icon plus

    Immediately after surgery you'll be taken to the recovery room. If you experience any pain or nausea, our clinical nurses can provide you with medication.

    Your recovery process differs depending on the type of surgery you had. Your consultant will advise you on when you can get back to your usual routine.

    If you have your pancreas removed, you'll likely need to have a autologous pancreatic islet cell transplantation (APICT). Islet cells produce insulin in your pancreas. When your pancreas is removed, the cells are injected into your liver to continue producing insulin. This can be an ongoing treatment.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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