Helping Kids and Teens to Understand and Prepare for Pancreatic Surgery

*Please note: This slide set represents a visual interpretation and is not intended to provide, nor substitute as, medical and/or clinical advice.
Oftentimes when your pancreas has been sick for a long time, along with you having severe belly pain that prevents you from doing normal activities with your friends and family, your doctor may decide that you need to have "pancreatic surgery".
Pancreatic surgery can involve doctors removing a part…
…or all of your pancreas from of your body.

After your surgery it will take time to get better.

But the good news is that most people will start to feel much better over time.

For pancreatic surgery you will need to go to the hospital and may have to stay there for a few days or longer.

All throughout your stay, there will be doctors, nurses and caregivers who will take excellent care of you.

And your family will be with you before and after the surgery.

Before your surgery, you must not have any food or drink because it's best that you have an empty stomach when you get a special kind of medicine known as "anesthesia".

Your doctor will let you know when you can have something to eat or drink.

Once you've changed clothes, a nurse will help you prepare for your surgery and ask you and your family some questions.

Soon it will be time to go to the operating room. This is the room where your surgery will take place.

Your doctors will give you medications to make you sleep through the surgery.

When you wake up, your surgery will be over and your family will be nearby in a recovery room. Your doctor will give you pain medicine to make you as comfortable as possible.
During your recovery you might need to take some special medicine. Just remember that over time you will feel much better than before you had the surgery and that any discomfort you do feel, will eventually go away.
If your pancreas is removed, then it no longer makes insulin and doctors need to do a special surgery procedure called "islet autotransplantation".
After islet autotransplantation your body can still make insulin, however it may take time for this to happen. In about half of the patients who get this, they will need insulin therapy for a period of time or sometimes for their lifetime.
Your doctor will also tell you what special diet to follow after the surgery and what to eat, drink, and avoid.
Your doctor will tell you when you are well enough to go home.
Just remember, having pancreatic surgery can help you begin to feel better sooner and go back to enjoying everyday activities.
See your doctor soon after your surgery to get a check-up.
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Module Content

Acute Pancreatitis in Kids and Teens Chronic Pancreatitis in Kids and Teens Helping Kids and Teens to Understand and Prepare for Pancreatic Surgery Patient Story: Hear Gia's Story Parent Story: My Daughter Gia Patient Story: Hear Emma's Story Parent Story: My Daughter Emma

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Slide Show - Helping Kids and Teens to Understand and Prepare for Pancreatic Surgery
This slide show will help you to understand and prepare for pancreatic surgery. It describes what to expect before, during and after surgery. Pancreatic surgery can involve doctors removing a part or all of your pancreas from your body. It will take time to get better after your surgery, but having pancreatic surgery can help you begin to feel better sooner and go back to enjoying everyday activities.

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Animation - Helping Kids and Teens to Understand and Prepare for Pancreatic Surgery
This animation will help you to understand and prepare for pancreatic surgery. It describes what to expect before, during and after surgery. Pancreatic surgery can involve doctors removing a part or all of your pancreas from your body. It will take time to get better after your surgery, but having pancreatic surgery can help you begin to feel better sooner and go back to enjoying everyday activities.
Watch now
Expert Video - Is surgery ever used to treat children with acute pancreatitis?
Physicians discuss whether surgery, as well as a number or other types of intervention, can benefit children as treatment options in acute pancreatitis. They explain that in severe cases involving certain types of complications, surgery, interventional radiology, as well as more novel endoscopic approaches can be viable options for consideration. Families may be in contact with a team of specialized care providers ranging from critical care physicians, GI physicians, surgeons, and interventional radiologists, in order to determine the best individualized care for their loved ones.
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Expert Video - What surgical options are available for children and teens with chronic pancreatitis?
Physicians explain how patients with chronic pancreatitis can have a range of surgery options made available to them if medical and endoscopic approaches have been exhausted, chronic pain has become debilitating, or if the patient needs to rely on opioids over the long term. They discuss how surgical operations can range from more conventional procedures - such as Puestow or Whipple procedures - to more extensive operations like a total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT).
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Expert Video - What happens during a total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TP-IAT)?
Physicians describe what is involved in having a total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation (TPIAT) and what the potential health outcomes are for patients post-surgery. They explain how TPIAT is the most complex pancreatic operation offered, entailing the removal of the pancreas, and the isolation and injection of specialized islet cells that produce insulin. In over 90% of children that undergo a TPIAT, the main outcome is relief from debilitating pain, freedom from opioid reliance, and overall improvement in quality of life.
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This educational activity has been developed by: The National Pancreas Foundation and Mechanisms in Medicine Inc.

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This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series that provides highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their health care professionals for optimal outcomes.