Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Pancreatic cancer surgeons in Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital offer expert pancreatic cancer surgery in the context of a multidisciplinary team to provide patients with well-coordinated, staging and treatment planning.

Surgical Oncologists have undergone additional specialty training in oncology, and offer the highest degree of specialization and expertise. Surgery for pancreatic cancer is generally considered complex surgery, and published data have demonstrated that hospitals and surgeons with the highest volume experience with specific operations have the lowest complication and death rates. Recognizing the relationship between frequency of performing an operation and the quality of outcomes, each surgeon in the Division of Surgical Oncology focuses his or her clinical practice on the management or one of two diseases.

Pancreatic cancer surgeons in Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital offer expert pancreatic cancer surgery in the context of a multi-disciplinary team to provide patients with well-coordinated, staging and treatment planning. Patients with pancreatic tumors are evaluated in the Tucker Gosnell Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers' multidisciplinary sessions, where they can meet with a surgeon, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist, and have their x-rays and pathology slides reviewed, and receive definitive pancreatic cancer treatment recommendations in a single visit. The members of this multi-disciplinary team are on the leading edge in care of pancreatic cancers, and offer participation in many clinical trials. All of the clinical trials available for patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are available for patients at the Cancer Center as a result of a completely integrated clinical trials program. View our list of open trials.

Massachusetts General Hospital has the highest volume of pancreatic cancer surgery of any hospital in New England. Gastroenterologists trained in advanced endoscopic techniques and endoscopic ultrasound are able to establish the diagnosis and relieve biliary obstruction. Expert radiologists with specialized CT and MRI scanning protocols can visualize the pancreatic abnormalities with high precision.

In patients with pancreatic cancer, emphasis is placed on:

  • accurate preoperative staging
  • aggressive surgical resection where appropriate
  • digestive tract reconstruction to enhance quality of life

Adjuvant radiation therapy and chemotherapy are often employed to reduce the risk of recurrence, including use of intraoperative radiation therapy.