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Advice on geting ready for surgery

Guest rosiet

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Hello I am new to this forum. In the course of trying to find out if I had appendicitis in early July (3rd) which turned out to be diverticulitis there was an incidental finding which after, US, CT and MRI revealed that I have 2 tumors in my pancreas 1 in body (3cm) and 1 in tail (1cm). The surgeon thinks they are benign but not 100% sure. I am having a Distal pancreatectomy/splenectomy sometime in the next 4-5 weeks. I havent got a date yet. I have been vaccinated with whatever they vaccinate u with - i had 3 injections(would like to know what if someone knows). I dont even know what type cancer it is. On the day that I got my MRI results back the surgeon briefly went though the surgery with me and then sent me straight down for more blood tests (which apparently had an elevated whitecell count?? again dont know what that means to me can someone help) and an endoscopy which found hiatis hernia (common) and helicobacter virus... I knew about this as it was diagonsed about 15 years ago and it doesnt matter how many courses of antibiotic i go through it just doesnt go away...little bit worried about this and a colonoscopy from which I have had no feedback yet. Anyway then I didnt get to see surgeon again to ask any questions about the cancer, type etc and dont see him until august 8....and I have so many

So I know I am having this surgery but want to know what I can do to get ready for it... I have been off work for last 15 months with back injury and havent been able to do hardly any excerise so am feeling really unfit and I have really bad insomnia which ive had for about 20 years and lately has been obviously worse. I have given up smoking (for 2 weeks cut immediately to about 2/3 a day and now 1 week completely no smoking). I have changed my diet and am having bran in morning, and wholemeal swiches for lunch and small protein and veg or salad for tea and fruit in between. (pears and bananas mainly).


should i be trying to learn to eat really small portions but more often.

am i eating correctly to prepare my body for possible diabetes (they are going to leave a very small portion of my pancreas

what exercises can i do to try to get my body in better shape for the surgery.

I am a little overweight due to inactivity from my injury but not obese. I am about 10kgs over my ideal weight range.

What can i expect after the surgery, will it change my life completely?

What do I need to be careful of

So many more questions.....I am a public patient in a public hospital in a really drained health system and I am worried that my surgeon hasnt been more informative.... I dont even know what type it is..... so that makes it hard to look up on the internet....is there anyone that has had this done or knows someone who has that can help me if its not too much trouble.

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Hi Rosie

Sorry to hear you need surgery lets hope your tumours are not cancer.

I will try to answer some of your questions as my mum has been through a partial pancreatectomy 2 years ago. Also I am a Theatre Nurse.

The injections you had will be immunisations such as Hep C because you are to have your spleen out and your spleen fights infection.

You will probably be given Penicillin daily indefinitley post op as you will have no spleen but that is no big deal.

You may not be diabetic post op, my mum isn't. She just has to take pancreatic enzymes called creon with food.

She eats plenty but little and often.

If you have not lost weight I would hope that is a sign that your tumours are benign but it will help if you know. Write a load of questions down and don't leave til they are answered when you see the doctors. I don't think it matters that you are a public patient, we mostly all are in Britain but still expect decent information!

Well done on not smoking, also to get a bit fitter try 20 mins brisk walk 3 times a week or daily up til the surgery, that should help. Let me know if you get any more information and I will try to answer any other queries.


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  • 1 year later...


I too am planning for forthcoming surgery. An Extended Beger's - Removal of the Head of the Pancreas plus Pancreatico jejunostomy plus Resection of Cyst in Tail/Body of the Pancreas, Preserving Duodenum and Spleen was planned but following the weekly Multidiciplinary Meeting the Cancer Team may decide to remove more! I have not been advised of the exact date yet; I was told in early February it would be approx 6 - 8 weeks. The waiting is awful and every day now pain in my upper right abdo is becoming worse. The painkillers I have, which are Dihydrocodeine, Paracetomol and Amitryptilene, are just not affective now. The pain is a dull thudding pain. I have lost my appetite completely now and have experienced 4 episodes recently where I feel I may be going to pass out; I have to drink or eat a snack that is very sweet; then I recover. I had Random Glucose checked in early February. I wonder if anyone could give me a little support -Pancreatic disease is sometimes extremely isolating socially through all the side-effects. I have been told I have developed a Cyst Adenocarcinoma in the Tail/Body.


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