Whipple Surgery

The Whipple surgery involves removing the gall bladder, the head of the pancreas, the common bile duct, and all the parts that might touch that area. In this case part of the liver, part of the stomach, part of the intestines all were cut away. The good news is that surgery was an option. Tumors in the common bile duct or gall bladder sometimes are not found until they have invaded too many tissues and surgery will not help. Surgery was the best option and it was the beginning of a very long recovery. Imagine not eating solid food for weeks, then thinking that nothing tastes good. All that is part of the recovery process.

Frustation lingered as the surgery team looked at all the physical signs and tests as a great success. The frustration was in how bad he felt with ongoing pain and nausea in spite of normal labs and great looking CT scans.

What I learned is that there is no normal recovery time, keep asking questions. There can be scary mental changes from strong IV narcotic pain medications. It takes a while to figure out what combination works with the least amont of side effects.