Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after Whipple Procedure?

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Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic after W

by JanetMichigan on Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hello:

I had a recent ERCP which showed enlarged bile ducts and a growth concerning for malignancy on my ampulla of vater. Multiple biopsies (over a dozen) were negative for cancer, but I was still referred to a surgeon for a Whipple procedure because benign tumors often turn cancerous and also because there is high incidence of false negatives. I am a patient at a university hospital that does a lot of these procedures, and I have a very good surgeon.

The Whipple procedure terrifies me like nothing else. I've read everything I can about it, but the one thing I can't find information on is: How long do people live after having this operation, assuming everything goes well and there is no more cancer? I am 48 now. Will I be able to live healthily into my 80's (like the rest of my ancestors) after having this surgery? It seems like this surgery is so drastic that it could shorten your life significantly, but I can find nothing in the literature about this.

Also, one of my joys in life is long-distance cycling. In the summer, it's common for me to bicycle 100 miles per week or more. This burns up about 500 calories per hour, and I'm not sure I'll be able to replace all those calories after having a Whipple procedure since you have to eat low fat, frequent small meals. Does anyone have experience with being athletic after having this surgery?

 

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by brotzdesart on Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:00 AM

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Survival rates depend upon the pathology of your tumor.  It is important to have your oncologist sit down and explain the pathology report.    I was told that I would have no restrictions to physical activity once I healed.  It takes awhile for those abdominal muscles to mend.

 

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by happytobehere on Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:00 AM

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Today is 8 months after my Whipple. I had Ampullary carcinoma of the Ampulla of Vader. The Whipple procedure was successful in removing the tumor, but also took 1/3 of the stomach and 1/3 of the pancreas, duodenum, gall bladder, etc. I lost around 20 pounds from the surgery and reduced appetite from the stomach reduction.

I am 51 years old, male, and had never been in the hospital or even had an IV before this procedure. The hospital stay was 11 days total (8 days post op) and it was amazing the atrophy that took place during this time. My stamina was almost non-existent at first, but gradually got better and better. I never had any dietary restrictions and still do not, but there are certain foods that seem to cause problems. For me, milk, onions, shellfish to name a few. The problems are not that bad to worry about avoiding these foods, just now I know there may be some reaction. I used to take Aciphex for heartburn, but now I take nothing except Centrum Silver vitamins. No other drugs whatsoever and my blood work is perfect, cholesterol is 150, just bilirubin is high.

I am lucky to have never needed Chemo or radiation mainly because they caught this early (4 cm) when it presented itself after I showed signs of jaundice. I had a few days with unknown fevers, but they never found anything until the jaundice. I am lucky the attending was demanding of the tests as I thought it was just hepatitis from traveling. I am fortunate to be able to tell a positive story, but also encourage you that the key to recovery is determination, good spirirts, and a sense of humor. Be patient with the recovery and do not expect things to change overnight. I did get 15 rounds of golf in before winter and found I have a draw now, but less distance. The stomach muscles will take a long time to heal and you always know the scar is there, but looking at the alternatives, this is not so bad. There are definitely some good stories out here and I hope that mine will help anyone anxious about their future.

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by Annettejb on Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:00 AM

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On 2/13/2008 happytobehere wrote:

Today is 8 months after my Whipple. I had Ampullary carcinoma of the Ampulla of Vader. The Whipple procedure was successful in removing the tumor, but also took 1/3 of the stomach and 1/3 of the pancreas, duodenum, gall bladder, etc. I lost around 20 pounds from the surgery and reduced appetite from the stomach reduction.

I am 51 years old, male, and had never been in the hospital or even had an IV before this procedure. The hospital stay was 11 days total (8 days post op) and it was amazing the atrophy that took place during this time. My stamina was almost non-existent at first, but gradually got better and better. I never had any dietary restrictions and still do not, but there are certain foods that seem to cause problems. For me, milk, onions, shellfish to name a few. The problems are not that bad to worry about avoiding these foods, just now I know there may be some reaction. I used to take Aciphex for heartburn, but now I take nothing except Centrum Silver vitamins. No other drugs whatsoever and my blood work is perfect, cholesterol is 150, just bilirubin is high.

I am lucky to have never needed Chemo or radiation mainly because they caught this early (4 cm) when it presented itself after I showed signs of jaundice. I had a few days with unknown fevers, but they never found anything until the jaundice. I am lucky the attending was demanding of the tests as I thought it was just hepatitis from traveling. I am fortunate to be able to tell a positive story, but also encourage you that the key to recovery is determination, good spirirts, and a sense of humor. Be patient with the recovery and do not expect things to change overnight. I did get 15 rounds of golf in before winter and found I have a draw now, but less distance. The stomach muscles will take a long time to heal and you always know the scar is there, but looking at the alternatives, this is not so bad. There are definitely some good stories out here and I hope that mine will help anyone anxious about their future.


I was very interested to read your message. I have posted a number of messages in the last year about my case, in the hope that I might give some encouragement to others. I also had a Whipple procedure to remove an adenocarcinoma of the ampulla de Vater in Feb/1998 and have just completed 10 years' survival. I was never a true athlete but these days do aerobics using a runner, rowing machine, arm & leg weights (I am a 72 year old female) at home and lead an active life. I also have bile refluxes as my stomach takes a long time (approx. 23 hours) to empty. I take Sucralphate for this. Otherwise Vit. B1 (thiamine) to compensate the loss of duodenum. Mostly, I find it hard to adapt to several small meals a day. I work full time and don't eat fast food or artificial beverages ever. My tumor was about 1-1/2 cm when biopsied with no metastasis or signs of cancer in the lymph nodes. I am the first person on either side of my family to have had cancer.The surgeon did say that he thought it had been about 1 year growing and also that according to statistics he had studied in 1998 there seemed to be a link between this rare type of cancer to trauma and depression, which I experienced about 18 months before the first symptoms. This was not his personal opinion or that of my oncologist, who simply said 'etiology unknown'. My Whipple was followed by 2 procedures for pancreatic fistulas and then 3 months later by a bile diversion procedure. I was operated in Rio de Janeiro where I live. Keep us posted on yr progress.

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by dcnbama on Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:00 AM

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It sure is comforting to read of a 10 yr survivor.  I am 15 months cancer free after having been diagnosed with ca of ampulla of vader.   Recently read encouraging info on this on the pan can web site.   I think it is normal for us to want to hear about "good" stories.  Seems there is an abundance of "sad" stories on here.  Thank you for sharing and providing encouragement.

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by CAROLYN9776 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi,

I was diagnosed with Ampullary Carcinoma and am a whipple survivor 4 years this august.  I had a wonderful team at Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital/Sylvestor Cancer Clinic.  I was out of the hospital in 6 days and active again within 2 weeks.  Of course 2 weeks active is as active as you can be after having your stomach opened up.  My husband and I own a window business and I was out having meetings in 3 weeks and approx about 6 months later I was totally active in every way as I was prior to the surgery.

 On 1/22/2008 JanetMichigan wrote:

Hello:

I had a recent ERCP which showed enlarged bile ducts and a growth concerning for malignancy on my ampulla of vater. Multiple biopsies (over a dozen) were negative for cancer, but I was still referred to a surgeon for a Whipple procedure because benign tumors often turn cancerous and also because there is high incidence of false negatives. I am a patient at a university hospital that does a lot of these procedures, and I have a very good surgeon.

The Whipple procedure terrifies me like nothing else. I've read everything I can about it, but the one thing I can't find information on is: How long do people live after having this operation, assuming everything goes well and there is no more cancer? I am 48 now. Will I be able to live healthily into my 80's (like the rest of my ancestors) after having this surgery? It seems like this surgery is so drastic that it could shorten your life significantly, but I can find nothing in the literature about this.

Also, one of my joys in life is long-distance cycling. In the summer, it's common for me to bicycle 100 miles per week or more. This burns up about 500 calories per hour, and I'm not sure I'll be able to replace all those calories after having a Whipple procedure since you have to eat low fat, frequent small meals. Does anyone have experience with being athletic after having this surgery?

 


 

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by Brazilian on Thu Apr 10, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply

 

On 2/21/2008 Annettejb wrote:

 

On 2/13/2008 happytobehere wrote:

Today is 8 months after my Whipple. I had Ampullary carcinoma of the Ampulla of Vader. The Whipple procedure was successful in removing the tumor, but also took 1/3 of the stomach and 1/3 of the pancreas, duodenum, gall bladder, etc. I lost around 20 pounds from the surgery and reduced appetite from the stomach reduction.

I am 51 years old, male, and had never been in the hospital or even had an IV before this procedure. The hospital stay was 11 days total (8 days post op) and it was amazing the atrophy that took place during this time. My stamina was almost non-existent at first, but gradually got better and better. I never had any dietary restrictions and still do not, but there are certain foods that seem to cause problems. For me, milk, onions, shellfish to name a few. The problems are not that bad to worry about avoiding these foods, just now I know there may be some reaction. I used to take Aciphex for heartburn, but now I take nothing except Centrum Silver vitamins. No other drugs whatsoever and my blood work is perfect, cholesterol is 150, just bilirubin is high.

I am lucky to have never needed Chemo or radiation mainly because they caught this early (4 cm) when it presented itself after I showed signs of jaundice. I had a few days with unknown fevers, but they never found anything until the jaundice. I am lucky the attending was demanding of the tests as I thought it was just hepatitis from traveling. I am fortunate to be able to tell a positive story, but also encourage you that the key to recovery is determination, good spirirts, and a sense of humor. Be patient with the recovery and do not expect things to change overnight. I did get 15 rounds of golf in before winter and found I have a draw now, but less distance. The stomach muscles will take a long time to heal and you always know the scar is there, but looking at the alternatives, this is not so bad. There are definitely some good stories out here and I hope that mine will help anyone anxious about their future.


I was very interested to read your message. I have posted a number of messages in the last year about my case, in the hope that I might give some encouragement to others. I also had a Whipple procedure to remove an adenocarcinoma of the ampulla de Vater in Feb/1998 and have just completed 10 years' survival. I was never a true athlete but these days do aerobics using a runner, rowing machine, arm & leg weights (I am a 72 year old female) at home and lead an active life. I also have bile refluxes as my stomach takes a long time (approx. 23 hours) to empty. I take Sucralphate for this. Otherwise Vit. B1 (thiamine) to compensate the loss of duodenum. Mostly, I find it hard to adapt to several small meals a day. I work full time and don't eat fast food or artificial beverages ever. My tumor was about 1-1/2 cm when biopsied with no metastasis or signs of cancer in the lymph nodes. I am the first person on either side of my family to have had cancer.The surgeon did say that he thought it had been about 1 year growing and also that according to statistics he had studied in 1998 there seemed to be a link between this rare type of cancer to trauma and depression, which I experienced about 18 months before the first symptoms. This was not his personal opinion or that of my oncologist, who simply said 'etiology unknown'. My Whipple was followed by 2 procedures for pancreatic fistulas and then 3 months later by a bile diversion procedure. I was operated in Rio de Janeiro where I live. Keep us posted on yr progress.

Hi Annette:

It is really encouraging to hear a story like yours.

My 54-year-old brother also lives in Rio and he had a Whipple surgery last year on January 18, my birthday for a periampullary tumor.  He did very well after the surgery but now it seems the cancer is back.  They found a lesion in his liver and his oncologist wants him to do a biopsy to check for metastasis.  We are praying that the lesion is a false positive.  Another Ct scan had showed the lesion had regressed.  I wish you could talk to him for he has a lot of questions that remain unanswered. I am just curious to who operated you and in what hospital? My brother has had a lot of problems with flatulence.  Did you have the same problem after surgery and if you did what medicine did you take for that? Hope to hear from you soon.

Caring sister

 

 

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by TNmom3 on Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:00 AM

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I had a whipple last July and I'm a very active 48 year old (was 47 at the time).  My family and I had just been around the world and I plan to go out of the country again in June. My biopsies and blood work all showed a blockage but no cancer but when they went in they found cancer and thus they had to do the whipple. They did not have to touch my stomach and I don't really have any problems. Just wished it was a "pre-cancer" thing instead of cancer. But I've finished chemo and if God allows, I feel great and plan to stay active for years to come-I mean I have a 7 year old and Lord knows, you need ENERGY to keep up with them! Best to you!

TN Mom

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by ampullarygrace on Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:00 AM

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hi.  i am 41 years old and just had my whipple procedure 5 weeks ago.  i am wondering, how long before the stomach muscle heal completely? 

also, my food intake has gone low and so i need to watch my eating so i don't overeat.  is this the case with all survivors?  it is a yucky feeling when i overeat. :(

RE: Two questions: How long do people survive after Whipple procedure? Can you still be athletic aft

by yvonnekkk on Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:00 AM

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one year later and I am fitterthan everhave just sailed my boat from Cuba to maine   

One year later and I am fitter than ever So far no diabetes  Have just sailed my boat fro m Cuba to Maine and look forward to sailing to Australia

 

Cabbage is the only ting that gives me pain    but I keep trying to eatit

 

Life iswonderful afterwhipple for me and I am going to live forever

 

 

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