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A total pancreatectomy is a pancreatic cancer treatment in which the entire pancreas as well as nearby lymph nodes and portions of the stomach, gallbladder and duodenum are removed. The remaining portion of the stomach is then reconnected to the small intestine. At Moffitt Cancer Center, this surgery is offered as a traditional procedure or as a robotic procedure, and the experts that make up our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program collaborate on each unique case to determine if one of these options should be included in a patient’s treatment plan.

Compared with a traditional total pancreatectomy, robotic surgery offers many advantages. As a minimally invasive procedure, robotic surgery is performed through a series of small incisions, rather than a single, large incision. This can lead to less scarring and faster incision healing, as well as decreased pain. Patients typically have shorter hospital stays and a shorter recovery time following a robotic procedure.

At Moffitt, robotic surgery is completed using the da Vinci® Surgical System. The robotic technology of this system enables a surgeon to:

  • Translate hand movements into smaller, more precise movements to perform the surgery
  • Use wristed instruments that can bend and twist beyond the capabilities of the human hand
  • View the procedure through a 3D image that is magnified in high definition for better visibility

When undergoing a traditional or robotic total pancreatectomy, the skill and experience of the surgeon performing the procedure greatly contributes to the success of the treatment and an improved quality of life for the patient. The surgeons at Moffitt possess a high level of expertise in surgical procedures to treat pancreatic cancer, as Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center and sees more patients with pancreatic cancer each year than other providers might see during their careers. Moffitt patients benefit from the experience of not only our surgeons, but also an entire multispecialty team that includes gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and other experts who are committed to providing the best possible treatment for each patient.

If you would like to learn more about the differences between traditional and robotic total pancreatectomies, or if you are interested in receiving treatment at Moffitt, call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online. You can schedule an appointment with or without a referral.