Postoperative Complications caused by Pancreatic Surgery

Postoperative Complications Caused by Pancreatic Surgery

Pancreatic surgery can involve something as simple as the removal of cysts and tumours or as complex as the Whipple procedure; the risks for postoperative complications are usually the same. It is important to be aware of the possible complications so that you can seek medical attention immediately if the signs or symptoms begin to develop.

Possible postoperative complications of pancreatic surgery include:

  • Bile duct leak
  • Haemorrhage
  • Infection
  • Pancreatic fistula
  • Pancreatic leak
  • Pancreatitis
  • Stricture
  • Wound healing problems

A bile duct leak can occur when the tube-like structure that connects the pancreas to the gallbladder is surgically cut while the patient is on the operating table. This is usually treated with antibiotics and may require additional surgery for repair.

Haemorrhage is defined as heavy bleeding or loss of blood and is a major cause of postoperative mortality. This occurs when too much blood vessels have been cut or damaged and the blood vessels cannot be sealed off properly.

Infection is a serious risk for any type of surgery and is especially dangerous in the context of pancreatic surgery. High fever and signs of inflammation, such as redness, swelling, and pain around the incision site should be immediately reported to the doctor.

A pancreatic fistula is an abnormal connection between the ducts of the pancreas and other organs, such as the small intestine or stomach. Symptoms may include abdominal swelling, pain, and recurrent episodes of pancreatitis.

A pancreatic leak is a type of fistula that occurs when the pancreatic digestive enzymes leak out of the ducts and into the abdominal cavity. This can cause severe pain and inflammation and can lead to infection if not treated promptly.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can develop after surgery. It is usually treated with antibiotics, pain relief, and other anti-inflammatory medications.

Stricture is a narrowing or blockage of the pancreatic duct system that can occur after pancreatic surgery and can lead to pancreatitis or other problems. It is usually treated surgically, although endoscopic techniques may be used instead.

Wound healing problems can manifest in the form of swelling, pain, redness, and discharge. This can lead to infection, necrosis, and tissue breakdown.

The best way to avoid postoperative complications is to discuss your personal risks and expected outcomes with your doctor before undergoing any type of pancreatic surgery.