Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Leaders in minimally-invasive surgical techniques.

Our pancreatic cancer surgery team is Michigan’s most experienced. As one of our nation’s high-volume pancreatic cancer centers, we offer patients safer and broader treatment options in a personalized approach from a skillful, multidisciplinary team.

We use minimally invasive techniques to treat cancer with precise accuracy if deemed appropriate.

Our team will work with you to determine if surgery will be a part of your treatment plan, based on recommendations from our tumor board.

If surgery is recommended, we will outline what to expect during your surgery, and provide detailed instructions to help you prepare for — and successfully recover from — your procedure.


Our team was the first in Michigan to treat patients with NanoKnife to destroy pancreatic tumors that were otherwise considered inoperable. This technology uses irreversible electroporation to send electrical pulses through small probes placed into a tumor. This causes cell lysis, killing cancer cells while avoiding damage to the surrounding area of the pancreas.

Our surgeons use NanoKnife in cases where tumors may be growing too close to vital blood structures.

Potentially curative surgery

If you have a tumor that has not spread beyond the pancreas, you may qualify for potentially curative surgery. 

Depending on the location of your tumor, your surgeon may offer you one of these surgical options: 

  • Pancreaticoduodenecomy (also known as Whipple surgery) is a procedure for patients whose tumor is located in the head or uncinate of the pancreas. This procedure involves removing the tumor, along with a portion of stomach, small intestine and bile duct.
  • Partial pancreatectomy is a surgical option for patients whose tumor is located in the neck, body or tail of the pancreas. This procedure involves the surgical removal of part of the pancreas.

Our surgeons can perform these procedures with minimally invasive techniques, such as a laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgeries in certain cases deemed safe for the patient.

Based on your pre-operative tests and imaging, patients may be offered different treatment options prior to surgery in attempts to shrink the tumor as much as possible. Those options may include chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of both. 

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7

Call us at (888) 777-4167

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If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
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    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email

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