Hello! My dad's surgery was on 3/26. We arrived at the NY Presbyterian Hospital at 5:30 AM. Surgery began at 7:30, right on time. Dr. Kato estimated it to be about 8 hours. I made my way to the waiting room and was a nervous wreck until about 11 when I knew that they must have gone through with the surgery since 2 1/2 hours had passed. Around 3:30 PM, Sarah (Dr. Kato's assistant), came out of the OR and my heart was pounding. She told me that they were not finished resecting the liver and that surgery was going to be about another 4 hours because they were going to go ahead with a Whipple. The tumor, to everyone's surprise, was wrapped around the duodenum and to get very clean margins, Dr. Kato decided this was the best route. At about 9:45 PM, Dr. Kato came out covered in sweat with bloodshot eyes and told me the tumor was out and they got clean margins! I didn't even know what to say...I think I just babbled a bunch of words that I hoped were meaningful. Dr. Kato resected my dad's right lobe of his liver (including the atery), the gallbladder, the duodenum, the bottom portion of his stomach and the head of his pancreas. He had to reconstruct his portal vein as well. He removed some tissue around a nerve near his pancreas which is being tested. He also removed a bunch of lymph nodes which are also being tested. Although I am worried about the results of the tissue surrounding a nerve, I am beyond thrilled the surgery was a success!
My dad spent two days in ICU. He would have went to step down on the 2nd day, but he has a bateria in his GI tract (that most of the general population has) so they want to keep him away from other patients for their protection. Once a single room was available, he went to the regular floor. He has been doing okay. He started eating clear liquids about 3 days ago. He is on a lot of morphine because of the pain. Today we found out that there is a leak from the pancreas that needs to be resolved (apparently this is common). He does not have to be asleep for the procedure. Besides that, he is making baby steps. I keep reminding him that this is one of the most difficult procedures to recover from and that he is doing great!
It is tough having him in NY when we are from MA. I just came home last night. Today was the first day he had to spend alone and although my heart is breaking, I know he is being taken care of. My family will be back with him starting Saturday. It looks like he will be there till at least 4/12. If anyone has ANY advice or information regarding recovery from a Whipple, please share!! Thank you so so much for all of your thought and prayers that have got us this far!