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What are the consequences of removing the pancreas?

Q: I am a 40 years old diabetic patient with chronic pancreatitis. The doctors are suggesting removal of the pancreas. What would be the consequences of this removal? Is the surgery complicated, where it is done and what would be the approximate cost?

A:I do not know the indications for removal of pancreas in your case. Removal of pancreas (pancreatectomy) is indicated for disabling pain, which interferes with the patient’s ability to work, and is refractory to pancreatic enzyme therapy, painkillers, or nerve blocks. Pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis is complex major surgery and is performed by surgical gastroenterologists in major tertiary care hospitals.

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