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Distal Pancreatectomy

Removal of the tail and body of the pancreas is called a distal pancreatectomy. When the pancreatic duct is blocked in the neck region, removal of the obstructed tail and body may be used to fix the blockage. Many times, the spleen, an organ that helps fight infection from certain types of bacteria, is sometimes involved in this disease process with obstruction of the vein that drains the spleen. Removal of the spleen may be necessary when removing the tail and body of the pancreas. If the spleen is removed, patients will receive vaccinations against three types of bacteria.

Illustration showing organs prior to a distal pancreatectomy

Illustration showing organs during a distal pancreatectomy

Illustration showing organs after a distal pancreatectomy and spenectomy

Illustration showing organs after a distal pancreatectomy