A major meta-analysis looking at how patient outcomes can be improved by adding a stent to the pancreatic duct during major surgery that requires a pancreatic resection followed by a join between the pancreas and the bowel was published in August 2012.

The operation, known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy involves cutting the head of the pancreas away, normally because it contains a tumour. Both the pancreas and the pancreatic duct are then sewn into a loop made in the jejunum, which is part of the small intestine. This allows pancreatic juices to flow out of the pancreas and directly into the intestine. This join can leak in up to 15 % ...

Mr Charles Imber is senior author on a major review published this month in the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ) in association with fellow surgeons Giles Bond-Smith, Neal Banga and Toby Hammond.

The review, Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma, highlights that around 8,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year. Although it’s not one of the most common cancers, at 13th in the incidence table, it is one of the biggest killers, being the fourth most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women.

“The major problem with pancreatic cancer is that it causes very few symptoms. Like ovarian cancer, i ...

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