Beyond the Whipple Operation: Radical Resections for Cancers of the Head of the Pancreas

Hans F. Schoellhammer, Bryan S. Goldner, Joseph Kim, Gagandeep Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most common pancreatic malignancy, and it occurs most commonly in the pancreatic head. It has a relatively low incidence; however it is a deadly disease and is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths for males and females in the United States. Surgical resection in the form of pancreaticoduodenectomy is the mainstay of treatment and can lead to improved overall survival as well as the possibility of a cure, although only 10 % of patients are resectable at presentation. In an attempt to improve outcomes and survival, surgeons over the decades have employed various aggressive resectional strategies to combat this disease. In this paper we review the development of pancreaticoduodenectomy and touch on the role played by the American surgeon Allan Whipple in this development. We review modern data regarding radical pancreaticoduodenectomy and extended lymphadenectomy for pancreatic head cancers, as well as data and controversies regarding arterial and venous resection performed during the course of pancreaticoduodenectomy. The role of extended and vascular resections in the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in contrast to adenocarcinomas is also examined. We summarize the current state of data regarding radical pancreaticoduodenectomy and discuss pushing the boundaries of surgical resection to help improve outcomes for select groups of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, Indian Association of Surgical Oncology.


  • Extended pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Radical pancreaticoduodenectomy
  • Whipple

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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