The pancreas is located next to many important structures and major blood vessels in the body. Complications of enucleation procedures and distal pancreatectomy include bleeding, infection and abscess formation, injury to nearby structures (e.g., spleen, stomach, colon, small intestine), diabetes, and fluid leak from the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic leaks are controlled with drains and will often resolve over time on their own.
In addition to the above, the Whipple (pancreaticoduodenectomy) procedure has added risks of delayed emptying of the stomach, as well as leaks or strictures at any of the new connections between the intestine and the pancreas, bile duct, or stomach.
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