Whipple Procedure

Other Known Aliasespancreaticoduodenectomy

Definitionpancreaticoduodenectomy cholecystectomy, choledochojejunostomy, pancreaticojejunostomy, and gastrojejunostomy

Clinical Significance this type of surgery is performed to resect pancreatic head tumors. It generally performed at large, high-volume medical centers as this has been shown to reduce mortality to less than 5%. An experienced surgeon can complete this surgery in < 6 hours with < 500mL of blood loss. Barring any postoperative complications, most patients are discharged from the hospital in 7-10 days.

HistoryNamed after Allen Oldfather Whipple (1881-1963), who was an American surgeon and received his medical doctorate from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1908. He was appointed faculty at Columbia and Presbyterian Medical Centers before going on to become professor of surgery at his alma mater for the next 25 years. He published the report of his eponymous surgery in 1935 and only performed it 37 times in his lifetime. He also supervised Virginia Apgar and advised her to pursue a career in anesthesiology because he saw an “energy and ability to make significant contributions” that would advance both fields. Other notable accomplishments include helping establish the American Board of Surgery and establishing another eponymous diagnostic triad for insulinoma.


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