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Performing Whipple surgery, both traditionally and robotically, is one of the most complex oncologic surgeries and requires an expert physician that has highly distinguished skills. Moffitt Cancer Center was the first center in Florida to provide this surgery and has provided this treatment to more patients than anywhere else in the state. Moffitt's Gastrointestinal Oncology Program is one of the nation's leaders in Whipple surgery, an achievement that evokes Moffitt’s commitment to innovation in treatment.

Whipple surgery, also known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy, is the primary surgical treatment for pancreatic cancer that is located in the head (or front) of the pancreas. Whipple surgery removes part of the pancreas, as well as any nearby tissues or organs that are affected by cancer. This operation not only treats both benign and malignant tumors that develop in the head of the pancreas but may also be recommended for patients with precursor lesions that originate prior to developing pancreatic cancer.


In utilizing this technology, we hope to make an impact in decreasing the number of people developing pancreatic cancer.

These high-risk lesions have a high probability to become pancreatic cancer. In this case, Whipple surgery is the only preventative cancer method for patients with these high-risk lesions at this location. Lesions in other parts of the pancreas may also be removed with robotic pancreas surgery, which is also routinely performed at Moffitt.

Moffitt offers both traditional and robotic Whipple surgery to patients who are eligible. Where traditional surgery is done open, with a single, large incision, robotic Whipple surgery uses the da Vinci® Surgical System, which features various innovations allowing for small, more precise incisions. The potential benefits of robotic surgery are a faster recovery period, less scarring and decreased pain. The surgical team at Moffitt reviews each patient’s case to determine if a robotic approach is suitable for them.


Part of our program’s goal is to develop techniques and technologies where patients can go through surgery, recover quickly and move forward with their lives.

Moffitt’s outcomes surpass other cancer institutions, earning our gastrointestinal surgeons recognition as top leaders in this space. In addition, our surgeons have traveled across the world to educate and train physicians on robotic Whipple.

If you'd like to refer a patient to Moffitt Cancer Center, complete our online form or contact a physician liaison for assistance. As part of our efforts to shorten referral times as much as possible, online referrals are typically responded to within 24 - 48 hours.