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Less-invasive surgery to treat pancreatic cancer

5:17 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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Surgery to remove part of the pancreas can be very difficult and involved. But a new procedure being used for the first time at the University of Colorado Hospital is using a less-invasive type of surgery on the pancreas to remove the cancerous part.

The traditional technique, known as the Whipple procedure, is usually a complicated surgery used to remove the cancerous head of the pancreas and part of the intestine surrounding it.

Traditionally this surgery entails using a large incision in the abdominal area, which can complicate recovery. Now the University of Colorado Hospital is beginning to do this surgery laparoscopically. That is done by placing telescopically guided instruments through small incisions.

The University of Colorado Hospital says that since the entire procedure is done laparoscopically it is thought that this approach lessens the risk of postoperative wound infections, reduces pain and allows for a faster recovery.

Dr Richard Schulick and Dr Barish Edil, both with surgery department at the University of Colorado Hospital, performed this exact operation on 0ct. 22, 2012. According to UCH the patient is now recovering well.

Up until now patients in this area needed to fly to another state to have this type of surgical technique used. But now they can get the same procedure done locally at the University of Colorado Hospital. And although this procedure isn't appropriate for all pancreatic cancer patients, those that are eligible now have the choice of the traditional surgery or the less-invasive laparoscopic procedure.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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