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Common Risks During and After the Whipple Procedure

People who will undergo surgery for pancreatic or duodenal cancer need to know about the risks during and after the Whipple procedure. In general, major surgeries impose risks and possible complications. Therefore, clients need to understand the surgical process and must consent only after getting enough information about what to expect about the procedure. The health care team’s topmost concern is overall treatment outcome. Surgical intervention is purposely conducted to cure and in worst cases to prolong life. Physicians resort to surgical procedure after all other clinical management have been exhausted with little or no success.

Common Surgical Risks During and After the Whipple Procedure Most common surgical difficulties associated to Whipple procedure are anaesthesia complications, wherein patients could possibly lead to respiratory failure and weakness post-surgery. Other problems include those that are related to intubation – the process of inserting a tube that allows breathing during operations like trauma on the throat and the lungs.

Apart from complications associated to anaesthesia and intubation, bleeding is also a major risk during and after the Whipple procedure. Moreover, this risk becomes more profound with clients belonging to religious affiliations that prohibit blood transfusion. Another risk that is present during and after the Whipple procedure is the deep vein thrombosis or formation of clots that block the flow of blood to vital organs.

Thorough physical examination and medical history taking prior to a Whipple procedure is always necessary. Previous history of clots makes a client more prone to deep vein thrombosis. Blood clots may become lodged in the lungs or the brain as they travel through the bloodstream causing either pulmonary complications or brain attacks, which is another medical emergency that requires immediate management.

The Whipple process may take between 4 to 8 hours and prognosis depends on the overall health condition of the patient prior to the surgery.

Complications may arise even days or weeks after surgery so patients and primary caregivers must always be observant for high-grade fever, low blood pressure and erratic pulses, which could all indicate infection or bleeding. Moreover, recovery time differs for each individual and they are advised to follow nutritional requirements to facilitate wound healing. Also, since clients who have undergone the Whipple procedure are immunocompromised so visits must be limited so that the client will not suffer from infections.

To sum it up, risks during and after the Whipple Procedure are manageable. However, patients as well as the caregivers must understand that people respond differently from treatments. The procedure has been highly successful for people who are on the early to intermediate stages of cancer. Knowing these risks should lessen the anxiety and facilitate recovery better among people who will undergo the procedure.





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