Pancreatectomy is major surgery. Therefore, extended hospitalization is usually required with an average hospital stay of 2 to 3 weeks.
Some pancreatic cancer patients may also receive combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy after surgery. This additional treatment has been clearly shown to enhance survival rates.
After surgery, patients experience pain in the abdomen and are prescribed pain medication. Follow-up exams are required to monitor the patient's recovery and remove implanted tubes.
After a total Pancreatectomy, the body loses the ability to secrete insulin, enzymes, and other substances; therefore, the patient has to take supplements for the rest of life. Depending on the medical condition, a pancreas transplantation may be considered as an alternative for some patients.
Patients usually resume normal activities within a month. Doctor will suggest to avoid heavy lifting for six to eight weeks following surgery and not to drive as long as they take narcotic medication.