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Jaundice after whipple procedure

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my friend had whipple procedure for pancreatic cancer,she developed jaundice after surgery and was found she had stricture of the common bile duct (surgeon cannot say the reason why she did)and 2 stents were placed which was changed 3 times now but she has alot of discomfort from these stents, abd pain, pain on the right side.she had 3 cycles of chemo and will be getting 5 weeks of radiation (5days a week.small doses the oncologist said)in a couple of weeks..my question is , can her gallbladder be removed if she is getting so much problem with it..her pancreas were not completely removed but she had splenectomy and had the usual diarrhea,nausea, weight loss, hair loss....thanks..
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replied September 4th, 2009
The gallbladder is generally removed during the Whipple procedure, and the bile duct is then reconnected to the intestine. That connection between the bile duct and the intestine can become narrowed, either due to scarring or due to recurrence of cancer. If the jaundice is being caused by a recurrence of her cancer, then additional surgery is not likely to help. If her cancer is in remission and she continues to have jaundice despite being dilated and stented, then one could consider trying to revise the scarred surgical connection between the bile duct and the intestine.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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