What to expect after Whipple Procedure

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What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by Seven22 on Sun May 06, 2007 12:00 AM

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My dad is scheduled to have the Whipple Procedure.  He is very scared.  He wants to know if he can have a normal life after the Whipple.  Any input (good or bad) from people who have had this procedure would be greatly appreciated.  Any long term side effects?  How bad was the recovery and how long?  What did you use for pain?  His doctor is recommending a pump?  Also mentioned an epidural after surgery for pain?

Thank you for any input.

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by Patty64 on Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi,

A whipple is a very difficult and long procedure. Your dad is going to have a hard time recovering. I know this sounds hard, but there is no easy way to say this. My mum just had this procedure done last Friday. The first two days after sugery she spent in ICU. She seemed to recover very fast. This isn't usually the case because here doctor told us he had never seen that. Unfortunately the last three days were horrible. She developed fever, started retaining water, she started vomiting from an empty stomach that left her exhausted. This seems to be normal, because her organs need to start functioning again and that is very painful. Yesterday she's had her worst day. But, if the doctor has told us the thruth, as of today she should start improving. I trully hope so. We aren't sure at this stage if they have been able to remove the whole tumor. We need to wait for the lab results. That will probably take another 8 days.

Prepare yourselves to be there for your dad, because he is going to need all the support you can give. It is going to be very emotional and very hard. I wish I could give  you more possitive news, but this is what we are going thru right now.

We haven't been told how long the recovery will take, because doctors can't seem to answer this question (or maybe don't want to). We live day by day, but we've never given up hope, because this operation is the only chance your dad and my mum have.

Prepare your dad, tell him what's going to happen or let the doctor explain. Try to ask as many questions as you can. The better you are prepared the easier it will be to cope with this.

Wish you all the best.

Pat

 

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by Genny on Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi,

I recently had a whipple procedure.  I had it done at Sloan Kettering and I was actually suprised at my recovery time and the lack of pain I had.  I was in the hospital for 9 days and was off all pain medication by day 5.  They had me up and walking the day after surgery which helped to cut down my hospital time.  I think that the better/more experianced doctor you go to the better.  If you look into the statistics of mortality rates and complications the doctors who do this procedure frequently have much lower rates.  My surgeon was one of the top in the nation and when to him because of that reason. 

I was given pain medication for home but have yet to take any of them.  The biggest effects of the surgery is the fatigue and inability to lift things.  There is no heavy lifting for 6 months.  I was out of work for 8 weeks and felt as though I could have gone back earlier.  I did loose a lot of weight due to my appetite afterwards which made me more fatigued than normal.  but that is all better now it has been a little over 3 months now and I am not cancer free and healthy!

One problem i am having is with my body not absorbing animal fats for my hair has been falling out and I have been having numbness and tingling in my legs and arms.  The doctor put me on medication that I take with meals which will correct the problem 100 %. 

If I could be of any other help just let me know.\

Genny

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by Gbcdad on Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:00 AM

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Genny -

 Good to hear how well you are doing after the Whipple surgery.  My dad had a liver resection (removed bile duct and duodenum as well) at Sloan in March.  I was just curious who your dr. is. 

 My dad is still having a rough time with some foods and is still quite tired. 

Did you have chemo or radiation?  Were any of your lymph nodes malignant?  Do you take any enzymes or supplements?

 Any info you would be willing to share would be helpful.

KM

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by cailin on Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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My mum had the whipple's done two weeks ago today. At first, i got a fright when i saw how many tubes she was connected up to. she was on morphine so was quite 'out of it' for a few days. as the days went on, the tubes were gradually removed. yesterday the removed the last of them. she was up and taking short walks after the first couple of days. she was eating after about 10 days. at this moment she is on her way back home after her op. docs were amazed at her progress. she has had absolutely no pain since the operation. she has even been refusing panadol from the doctors as she does not need it. The results of analysis done show that there were a few stray cells that they could not remove. also, some of her lymph nodes were affected. she is going to start chemo in 4 weeks time. does anyone have any info on the effectiveness of this, and the possible side effects of her chemo?

 

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by ckakids on Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 5/6/2007 Seven22 wrote:

My dad is scheduled to have the Whipple Procedure.  He is very scared.  He wants to know if he can have a normal life after the Whipple.  Any input (good or bad) from people who have had this procedure would be greatly appreciated.  Any long term side effects?  How bad was the recovery and how long?  What did you use for pain?  His doctor is recommending a pump?  Also mentioned an epidural after surgery for pain?

Thank you for any input.


I'm a 38 year old male who had the Whipple procedure done on June 21, 2007. I was in the hospital for 5 days after the surgery. Each day after the surgery you get progressively better at walking and dealing with the pain. I used the pain pump for the first day after they removed my epidural. After that the pain was tolerable. I am still recovering but feel great. My eating is getting better and I'm starting to gain some of my weight back that I lost after the surgery. Its only been five weeks and I walk daily and go for bike rides. I was scared too about the surgery but my surgeon was excellent and his team did a wonderful job as well. I was at Massachuetts General Hospital and the surgeon was Dr. Warshaw. He's never lost a patient to surgery and he has done approx. 800 of these procedures. I would recommend him to anyone. Tell your dad good luck and we wish him well.

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by rbsoc2 on Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:00 AM

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I’m sorry to post bad news on here but I just want people to understand this is a major procedure and there are sometimes life threatening complications.  My dad had the procedure done at the beginning of July and he just had too many complications from surgery for about a month and didn’t make it.  I am not saying this to try to get you to talk your father out of the surgery.  We understood this was my dad’s only chance and best chance to remove the cancer fully.  But he had a spot, where they had sown his intestines back together that had ruptured and bled.  He went through 16 units of blood that night and never fully recovered from that.  I hope all goes well with your dad’s surgery and everything is fine afterwards, I just saw that all the responses were positive ones and god bless all of you.  But I though surgery, then recovery and I would have my dad home.  Complications happen too, and I just wanted to point this out.  God bless you and your family and God willing you will have your dad back right away.

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by tan1222 on Thu Aug 23, 2007 12:00 AM

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I too had the whipple at the age of 41 (3 years ago).  What I didn't know at that time is that this is a very serious operation.  However, I came through fine.  I did have an epitdural.  I didn't know I was getting one.  While preping me for surgery they said "we are going to insert the epidural now".... Any how....when I awoke my only complaint was where they put the epidural.  That was sore, and laying on my back for three days in ICU was not the most comfortable.  I had the PCM (pump) for medication, however, I didn't need it for my incision.  I needed it for my back, believe it or not.  I wanted to perservere where the surgery was.  Getting in the upright position from the bed was brutal.  But, BIG PICTURE....all those things improved with each passing day.  The only other problem happened a year later when scar tissue developed and cause a partial blockage in my lower bowel.  Which meant another surgery.  Again, big picture.  Today, I am cancer free, I feel great, I am back exercising and enjoying life.  I thank God everyday for sending me the best doctors.  Best wishes to all and good health.  Be well!

Terry

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by Annettejb on Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:00 AM

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KM

I am 72 and had a Whipple procedure in Jan/98 and most of the time I am fine, leading a normal professional and leisure life. I did not have chemo or radiation and no malignancies were detected elsewhere. I do take thiamine (Vit. B1) supplement twice a day to make up for a deficiency due to  having no duodenum. One consequence is that I have been having constant bile refluxes leading to pneumonia due to bronchoaspiration of bile fumes, despite having had bile bypass surgery later in 1998. Also a seemingly chronic E.Coli urinary infection. I am presently having extended antibiotic treatment (Zinnat) which has stopped the bile refluxes and hopefully without the recurrent bouts of pneumonia my immune system may get stronger. Hopefully I may later have a different kind of bile bypass surgery (70% chance of success). About the Whipple itself, I had no pain at all after the 11 1/2 op, which included an appendectomy but was tube-fed for about a month. Maybe they gave me painkillers without my knowing it! No other after-effects worth mentioning.

 

Annette

 

RE: What to expect after Whipple Procedure

by jbw3832 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi

wwere there any cells left??? did they follow up with Chemo/radiation??? J

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