Lymphatic Leak After the Whipple Surgery
I had my Whipple procedure performed on Aug 31, 2023. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks due to a lymphatic leak. As I began to try to eat after the first week, my leak was discovered. The drain fluid went from clear to milky. I was immediately taken off all foods and put on TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) for 8 days and could only take ice chips. This allowed time for the leak to begin to heal. When eating, the pancreas creates liquids which are corrosive and counter to the healing process. I've lost 30 pounds.
I am now nearly 5 weeks out from surgery but I am still on a strict low fat diet. No more than 30 grams of fat per meal. I will be able to begin to try different foods at the 6 week mark. If you have this leak situation, please be patient. Try to get protein in your meals or you will continue to lose weight. On a positive note, I realized there were many very tasty no fat and low fat products out there (ice creams, yogurts, fruit spreads,…). My greatest discovery was that shrimp has virtually no fat and has protein. I do love a good shrimp cocktail.
This is my 4th different cancer. I had testicular in 1992 (removed followed by radiation), lymphoma in 2014 (treatable but not curable – had chemo), lung in June 2023 (lobe removed – will begin immunotherapy soon) and now a very active TPMN in the pancreas head which was turning into cancer (whipple removed it and margins are clean).
In 1979, I was a firefighter and we fought a landfill fire on and off for 4 days, breathing in the smoke. Little did we know that the site was being used by a group that took top dollar to properly dispose of hazardous waste but instead dumped it locally. We lost a lot of firefighters to different cancer over the years.
May God bless you all. Stay strong.