Questions about surgery?
If you have any questions about surgery, speak to your medical team.
You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.
Resectable (operable) cancer is cancer that can be removed by surgery.
Sometimes the cancer may grow very close to the major blood vessels near the pancreas. This is called borderline resectable pancreatic cancer. It may be possible to remove the cancer, but it depends which blood vessels are affected and how far the cancer has grown.
Read more about operable and borderline resectable cancer.
8.3 If you are having surgery to remove cancer in the head of the pancreas, your doctor should consider pylorus-preserving surgery, as long as it removes all the cancer.
Pylorus-preserving surgery doesn’t remove part of the stomach or the stomach valve (the pylorus).
Read more about surgery to remove pancreatic cancer.
8.4 You should be given time to recover from surgery before starting chemotherapy. Chemotherapy should be started as soon as you are well enough to cope with six months of chemotherapy (six cycles).
8.6 If you are not well enough to cope with GemCap following surgery, your doctor should consider gemcitabine alone. This may have fewer side effects, but it may still help you live longer.
Read more about chemotherapy.
8.7 You should have regular check-ups with the specialist team following surgery, to manage any side effects or problems from the surgery.
8.8 If you get new or unexplained symptoms following treatment, these should be investigated by the specialist team and you should be offered services to support you.
Published: August 2018
Review date: August 2023