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Division of Surgical Oncology
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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.
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.
We treat a variety of conditions that affect the pancreas, gall bladder or bile ducts, including:
Mass General has one of the largest pancreatic cancer practices in New England. Our program has a history of pioneering innovative, minimally invasive approaches such as:
A Mass General care team will work with you to determine which procedure is most appropriate for you based on the size, location and spread of your tumor.
We are also highly experienced in specialized procedures such as the Whipple procedure, enucleation and pancreatic debridement.
The Whipple procedure is typically used to remove cancerous tumors, but can also be used to remove non-cancerous, or benign, tumors that cause symptoms such as jaundice, pain or recurrent pancreatitis.
Our surgeons will tell you if you are a candidate for any of these specialized procedures based on the size, location and malignant (cancerous) potential of the tumor.
Our high volume of pancreatectomies — and skilled team of highly rated pancreatic surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and physical therapists— help us to attain expected results in treating patients with extremely complex conditions of the pancreas. In our care, we emphasize minimally invasive surgical and anesthetic techniques that enable shorter stays and fewer complications. Patients at Mass General are able to leave the hospital sooner compared to the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) norms. Learn more about Mass General’s surgical outcomes for pancreatectomy compared to national data.
The Mass General Department of Surgery and Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness have been recognized for meritorious outcomes in surgical patient care from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). Hospitals achieve this distinction based on composite quality score in the outcomes in mortality and complications such as cardiac, respiratory, unplanned intubation, ventilator greater than 48 hours, renal failure, surgical site infections and urinary tract infections for all surgery cases during the period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.
This recognition reflects the outstanding performance of the hospital’s surgical teams in providing patient care at many levels. This distinction goes to only approximately 10 percent of the 680 participating hospitals entering data into NSQIP in 2016 and represents the first time that Mass General has reached this status.
Our surgeons are accomplished researchers who are at the forefront of the latest surgical and medical innovations. Browse online for open clinical trials.
The National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) has recognized Mass General as both an NPF Pancreatic Cancer Center and an NPF Pancreatitis (non-cancerous) Center. These important recognitions are given to premier healthcare facilities that focus on the multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatic cancer and acute pancreatitis, best possible outcomes and improved quality of life for patients. Learn more about the NPF recognitions.
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At Mass General, we believe it's important to provide safe and effective care. The Department of Surgery tracks many performance measures and compares them to national data. On the following pages, you can view some of these metrics.
Distal Pancreatectomy Outcomes See how Mass General’s distal pancreatectomy outcomes compared to the American College of Surgeons norms.
Pancreatectomy Case Volumes See how Mass General’s pancreatectomy case volumes compared to the national average.
Patient Ratings of Pancreatic Surgeons See how Mass General’s pancreatic surgery patients rate their doctors.
Pancreatectomy Length of Stay See how Mass General’s pancreatecomy length of stay compared to the American College of Surgeons norms.
Whipple Procedure Outcomes See how Mass General’s Whipple procedure outcomes compared to the American College of Surgeons norms.
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).
Thirty-six former MGH patients, ranging in age from 35 to 81, recently returned to the hospital for the inaugural pancreatic surgery patient symposium, “Through Patients’ Eyes: Understanding Life After Pancreatic Surgery.”
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.
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.
Learn more about general anesthesia in this educational video.
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