Life after pancreatectomy: Tyring to decide on surgery or not

Posted by jwohl @jwohl, Mar 23 9:06pm

My mother was recently diagnosed with high risk IPMN and is debating whether or not to go through with a total pancreatectomy (TP). I’m her only close relative and live many states away with two young children, so I worry about her aftercare and quality of life if she has the procedure.

Can anyone share their experiences of recovery and quality of life after the TP? We are trying to decide if she should just live the rest of her life out as is or have the procedure and ensure a hard recovery. Any insight would be great appreciated.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Pancreatic Cancer Support Group.

Hello @jwohl and welcome to the pancreatic cancer support group on Mayo Connect. I can see that your mom and you have a big decision to make about possible surgery.

The decision for surgery is a difficult one for sure. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. It would probably be good to discuss this with your mom's PCP who is familiar with her overall health. You don't mention her age, or other health issues, and these are all important factors when considering surgery.

On Connect, there are some discussions on total pancreatomy. I would encourage you to read the posts in these groups to understand a little more about the experiences of others recovering from this surgery.

--Total Pancreatectomy
--Foods After Pancreatectomy

If you are comfortable sharing more, when you say that she was, "diagnosed with high risk IPMN..." could you explain more about what tests/scans, etc. were used to make this diagnosis? Also, how is your mom feeling? Were there specific symptoms that led to the discovery of this problem?

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