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What is bypass surgery for pancreatic cancer?

If the pancreatic cancer has blocked the bile duct or a blocked duodenum, you may be offered bypass surgery. Sometimes it may be done if your surgeon started surgery to remove the cancer (such as a Whipple’s operation), but found that it wasn’t possible to remove it because it had spread beyond the pancreas. Bypass surgery may be done instead to help relieve your symptoms.

Bypass surgery is a major operation. It won’t remove the cancer but it may improve your symptoms. It can be carried out using open or laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.

If you have any questions or concerns about having bypass surgery, speak to your medical team. You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.

Bypass surgery for a blocked bile duct

Bypass surgery for a blocked duodenum

Recovering from bypass surgery

Benefits and risks of bypass surgery

Side effects from bypass surgery

Published February 2017

Review date February 2019

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