Pancreas and Biliary Surgery Program

Mass General's Pancreas and Biliary Surgery Program provides surgical treatments for diseases of the pancreas, gall bladder, liver and bile ducts.

Located within a world-class academic medical center, Mass General's Pancreas and Biliary Surgery Program includes board-certified, Harvard Medical School-affiliated general surgeons who specialize in performing surgery of the pancreas and biliary system (i.e. gall bladder and bile ducts). This specialization requires rigorous advanced training and a highly focused clinical practice.

Multidisciplinary Pancreatic & Biliary Care

Depending on your condition and diagnosis, your treatment team includes your surgeon as well as gastrointestinal specialists in the Tucker Gosnell Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers or the Pancreas and Biliary Center. Your surgeon works side-by-side with your entire Mass General treatment team, including the Cyst Imaging Surveillance and Treatment (CIST) Center, to provide comprehensive, personalized treatment for cancer patients and other patients with complex conditions.

We regularly hold multidisciplinary conferences that are attended by specialists from across Mass General. During these conferences, we collaborate on unique and particularly challenging patient cases. Receiving input from this range of expert perspectives helps us deliver comprehensive care for everything from the most common to the rarest pancreatic and biliary diseases.

Conditions We Treat

We treat a variety of conditions that affect the pancreas, gall bladder or bile ducts, including:

  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Benign tumors and cysts
  • Cancer of the pancreas, gallbladder or bile ducts
  • Congenital abnormalities of the pancreas
  • Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs)
  • Gallstones

Our Procedures

Mass General has the largest pancreatic cancer practice in New England. Our program has a history of pioneering innovative, minimally invasive approaches such as:

  • Laparoscopic distal pancreatectomy, which removes the tail and/or body of the pancreas, but not the head; usually includes removal of the spleen
  • Middle pancreatectomy, a limited resection of the midportion of the pancreas, preserving the tail and body
  • Spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy, which removes the tail and/or body of the pancreas, but not the head or spleen

We are also highly experienced with specialized procedures such as:

  • Enucleation of pancreatic tumors, the surgical removal of a tumor without dissecting the pancreas
  • Pancreatic debridement, the removal of necrotic pancreatic tissue and removal of necrotic tissue outside of the pancreas
  • Whipple procedure (pancreatoduodenectomy), the removal of the head of the pancreas, most of the duodenum (a part of the small intestine), a portion of the bile duct and sometimes a portion of the stomach

Research & Clinical Trials

Our surgeons are accomplished researchers who are at the forefront of the latest surgical and medical innovations. Browse online for open clinical trials.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in men and women in the US. Pancreatic cancer occurs when malignant cells grow out of control.


Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. The inflammation may be sudden (acute) or ongoing (chronic).

The following related clinical trials and research studies are currently seeking participants at Massachusetts General Hospital. Search for clinical trials and studies in another area of interest.

A new chapter begins

MGH Hotline 6.13.11 On April 26, Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, stepped into the operating room to perform his last procedure after four decades of practice and nearly 14 years as surgeon-in-chief and chair of the MGH Department of Surgery.

Introducing Keith D. Lillemoe, MD

MGH Hotline 5.13.11 Keith D. Lillemoe, MD, the MGH's new surgeon-in-chief and chair of the Department of Surgery, spent 27 years at Johns Hopkins and most recently led the Department of Surgery at Indiana University Hospital.