Bile Duct & Pancreas Tumors

Naab Road Surgical Group -  - General Surgery

Naab Road Surgical Group

General Surgery located in Indianapolis, IN

Pancreatic cancers account for about 3% of all cancers, while bile duct cancers are significantly less common. The surgical procedures performed to remove both types of tumors are incredibly complex, requiring the expertise of the surgeons at Naab Road Surgical Group in Indianapolis. They work closely with each patient, carefully explaining the procedures and offering their support from preoperative through postoperative care. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.

Bile Duct & Pancreas Tumors Q & A

What Should I Know About Pancreatic Tumors?

The pancreas sits behind your stomach, where it has two primary functions. Exocrine cells in the pancreas produce digestive enzymes. Endocrine cells release the hormones insulin and glucagon.

Many different types of tumors can develop in the pancreas. Some are benign (noncancerous), while others are malignant. Most cancerous tumors, called adenocarcinomas, grow in the exocrine cells. Only about 5% of all pancreatic cancers develop in the endocrine cells.

What Should I Know About Bile Duct Tumors?

Bile is a yellow-green fluid produced in the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and sent into the small intestine when it’s needed to digest fats. The bile ducts are thin tubes that carry bile from the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine. 

Tumors can develop in any part of the bile ducts and they may be benign or malignant. Bile duct cancer, called cholangiocarcinoma, is most often found in the duct just outside the liver. About 5-10% of bile duct cancers are in the ducts located inside the liver.

What Symptoms Develop Due to Bile Duct and Pancreatic Tumors?

As bile duct and exocrine pancreatic tumors grow, they cause symptoms such as:

  • Jaundice (skin and eyes turn yellow)
  • Weight loss
  • Dull abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored or greasy stools
  • Itchy skin
  • Back pain

The symptoms caused by tumors in the endocrine cells are different because it depends on how your hormones are affected. 

How are Bile Duct and Pancreatic Tumors Treated?

When imaging tests show that the cancer hasn’t spread and the tumor can be removed or resected, you may undergo one of the following procedures:

  • Distal or total pancreatectomy, to remove part or all of the pancreas depending on the tumor’s location
  • Whipple procedure, to remove part or all of the pancreas and part of the bile duct, small intestine, and stomach
  • Partial hepatectomy, to remove part of the liver when the cancer is near the liver
  • Bile duct resection, to remove part or all of the bile duct

Following your surgery, you may receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

When you need expert surgical care for the complex procedures used to remove pancreatic and bile duct tumors, call Naab Road Surgical Group or schedule an appointment online.