Pancreatic Cancer

Robotic Whipple Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer

Surgery is often an essential component in treating pancreatic cancer. And until very recently, traditional "open" surgery was the only option. In just the last few years, robotics has made this surgery, known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy or Whipple procedure, less invasive for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The robotic Whipple procedure is the first surgical innovation in pancreatic surgery in more than 80 years. It is now available to 85 percent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or benign GI tumors. UPMC is one of only a handful of hospitals in the United States to use the robotic Whipple procedure.

Open Whipple vs. Robotic Whipple

During a traditional, open Whipple (pancreaticoduodenectomy) procedure, the surgical oncologist removes:

The open Whipple procedure requires a large incision to allow access to all of these organs.

The robotic Whipple offers patients a minimally-invasive option to the traditional surgeries for pancreatic cancer and benign tumors of the pancreas and colon, resulting in the potential for:

What can I expect during a robotic Whipple procedure?

The surgical oncologist:

Who provides this treatment at UPMC CancerCenter?

Herbert Zeh, MD
Amer Zureikat, MD