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Check-ups after pancreatic cancer surgery

Your surgeon will aim to take out all the pancreatic cancer, along with some of the normal tissue around it. The aim is to make sure that all of the cancer has been removed.

After surgery, a pathologist (doctor who looks at tissue samples in a laboratory) will look at the tissue to check whether there are any cancer cells in the surrounding area. This will help your medical team decide whether you need more treatment, such as chemotherapy.

You will have an appointment about two weeks after you leave hospital to get these results.

Your check-up is also an opportunity to talk to your doctor about any side effects or problems you might be having, and how to manage these.

Longer-term check ups

Your long-term check-ups (also called follow-up) after your operation will vary depending on where you are treated, and whether further treatment is needed.

You will usually have an appointment every three to six months after your surgery for the first two years. After two years you may have an appointment every year or telephone check-ups for up to five years. This will vary between hospitals. After five years your check-ups are usually done by your GP.

If you have any problems, you can ask for an appointment earlier. You can also contact your nurse for advice.

Some people have chemotherapy after surgery, so check-ups may be done by your oncologist (cancer specialist). Or they may be shared between the surgeon and oncologist.

If your check-ups find any signs that the cancer has come back, you may be offered further treatment with chemotherapy.

Who can have surgery to remove pancreatic cancer?

Types of surgery to remove pancreatic cancer

Advantages and disadvantages of pancreatic cancer surgery

How is surgery carried out?

Recovering from surgery

Side effects of surgery for pancreatic cancer

Back to Surgery for operable pancreatic cancer

Published February 2017

Review date February 2019

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