Surgery for Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer

Minimally Invasive Approach

At Scott & White, the majority of operations are performed with minimally invasive techniques. Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Better cosmetic result
  • Quicker recovery times, allowing you to:
    • Return to your daily routine sooner
    • Begin future treatment sooner
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Fewer complications

Not all patients are candidates for a minimally invasive approach. Factors affecting the decision to use minimally invasive techniques include:

  • Tumor size, stage or location
  • Patient obesity and health
  • Prior surgeries

Gallbladder Cancer Surgical Procedures

Your physician team may recommend the surgical removal of all or part of your gallbladder. The team may recommend other treatments in addition to surgery. At Scott & White, we use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible and appropriate, based on your condition.

Radical Gallbladder Resection

In this surgical procedure, your surgical oncologist will remove your tumor and your gallbladder, a wedge of your liver, and adjacent lymph nodes surrounding the gallbladder area.

Your GI Cancer Team at Scott & White has the expert skill and experience necessary to perform this complicated operation.

Bile Duct Cancer Surgical Procedures

For Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer

Surgical Removal of the Bile Duct

In this surgical procedure, your surgical oncologist will remove your tumor and the bile duct. Your surgeon will check adjacent lymph nodes for cancer spread.

Partial Hepatectomy

In this procedure, your surgical oncologist will remove your tumor and part of your liver. Your surgeon may remove a wedge or an entire lobe, leaving behind enough healthy liver to function normally.

Your GI Cancer Team at Scott & White has the experience necessary to perform this complicated operation.

Hepatic Lobectomy

In this complex surgical procedure, your surgical oncologist will remove your tumor, an entire lobe of your liver and adjacent lymph nodes.

Your GI Cancer Team at Scott & White has the experience necessary to perform this complicated operation.

For Perihilar Bile Duct Cancer

Surgical Removal of the Bile Duct

In this complex surgical procedure, your surgical oncologist will remove:

  • Your tumor
  • Part of your liver
  • Your bile duct
  • Your gall bladder
  • Adjacent lymph nodes
  • Parts of your pancreas
  • Part of your small intestine

Your surgeon will reconnect remaining sections of your bile duct to your small intestine.

This is a complicated surgical procedure, requiring great skill and expertise. Your GI Cancer Team at Scott & White has the experience necessary to perform this complicated operation.

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For Distal Bile Duct Cancer

Surgical Removal of the Bile Duct

In this complex surgical procedure, your surgical oncologist will remove your tumor, your bile duct, adjacent lymph nodes, and, in some cases, parts of your pancreas and small intestine.

Your surgeon will reconnect sections of your bile duct to your small intestine.

This is a complicated surgical procedure, requiring great skill and expertise. Your GI Cancer Team at Scott & White has the experience necessary to perform this complicated operation.

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For Bile Duct Obstruction

Surgical Bypass

If your tumor blocks your bile duct, your surgical oncologist may construct a surgical bypass around the blocked duct. In this procedure, your surgeon will reroute the flow of bile from your common bile duct to your small intestine, relieving jaundice caused by bile build-up.

Stent Placement

If your tumor blocks your bile duct, your surgical oncologist may recommend the placement of a small metal or plastic tube (a stent) in your bile duct to keep it open. In this procedure, an interventional radiologist or gastroenterologist will insert a stent into your bile duct.

This procedure can be performed either:

  • Through a flexible tube passed down your throat (endoscope) following sedation
  • Through your side after sedation and local anesthesia

Your physician will discuss which option is best for you.

Special Note Regarding Bile Duct Operations

Operations to remove all or part of your bile duct and pancreas are highly complex, requiring the expert skill of our experienced surgical oncologists and our GI Cancer Team. You will stay in the hospital a week or more and need a month or more of recovery at home.

As with all operations, there are some risks. With bile duct surgery, you may have additional side effects, including:

• Difficulty digesting food
• Feeling bloated or full
• Nausea and vomiting
• Diabetes from lack of insulin
• Infections
• Bleeding

Your dietitian on your Integrated Care Team will be key in helping you adjust your diet and return to feeling normal again.

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