Pancreatic Surgery

Mohammed M. Kalan, MD, FACS, FRCS -  - Colorectal Surgery

Washington Institute of Surgery

Mohammed M. Kalan, MD, FACS, FRCS

Colorectal Surgery & Surgical Oncology located in Chevy Chase, MD

Pancreatic surgery procedures are challenging and require a highly skilled surgeon who has extensive experience with these types of operations. Distinguished physician Mohammed Kalan, MD, FRCS, FACS, of the Washington Institute of Surgery in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is such a surgeon. He is an expert in carrying out pancreatic surgeries. If you’re in need of a superior surgeon, please call the Washington, DC area office today or book an appointment with Dr. Kalan online.

Pancreatic Surgery Q & A


Why would I need pancreatic surgery?

Pancreatic surgery is a treatment for serious conditions of the pancreas. Your pancreas is an organ that sits behind and below your stomach. It makes enzymes for digestion and produces the hormone insulin, which you need for blood sugar regulation.

You can develop both cancerous and noncancerous growths in your pancreas. Noncancerous problems like cysts sometimes require pancreatic surgery, but pancreatic cancer is one of the leading reasons for needing this type of operation.

If your preoperative tests suggest it might be possible to remove the cancer from your pancreas, you can undergo potentially curative pancreatic surgery.

What is potentially curative pancreatic surgery?

Potentially curative pancreatic surgery aims to remove the tumor or, in some cases, your whole pancreas to cure cancer. Imaging tests don’t always provide enough detail to be sure about the stage of pancreatic cancer, so Dr. Kalan at the Washington Institute of Surgery might carry out a staging laparoscopy first to determine how advanced your cancer is.

A staging laparoscopy involves making a few small incisions in your abdomen and passing a laparoscope through to inspect your pancreas. The laparoscope has a tiny high-resolution camera on the end that sends back images of your pancreas to a monitor. Dr. Kalan can see your pancreas in detail, and also take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis.

If your imaging and staging laparoscopy shows the cancer is limited to your pancreas, you can undergo potentially curative pancreatic surgery.

What types of potentially curative pancreatic surgery are there?

There are several types of potentially curative pancreatic surgery. One of the most common is the Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy), which involves removing cancer affecting the head of your pancreas or the duodenum. Dr. Kalan might need to take the body of your pancreas out as well, and parts of some of the surrounding tissues, such as:

  • Small intestine
  • Bile duct
  • Gallbladder
  • Lymph nodes
  • Stomach and duodenum

Dr. Kalan then attaches the part of your pancreas and the bile duct that remain to your small intestine, so your digestive system still works. The Whipple procedure is highly complex and requires a surgeon of Dr. Kalan’s experience and expertise to optimize your prospects of recovery.

Other potentially curative pancreatic surgery procedures include:

  • Distal pancreatectomy - removes the tail or the tail and body of the pancreas and sometimes the spleen as well
  • Total pancreatectomy - removes the whole pancreas and may also remove the gallbladder, spleen, and parts of your stomach and small intestine

In patients whose pancreatic cancer has spread too far for curative surgery, palliative pancreatic surgery to relieve symptoms can sometimes be beneficial.

To find out more about the conditions of the pancreas and pancreatic surgery options, please call the Washington Institute of Surgery today or book an appointment online.