Pancreatic Cancer Action
Patient Information Booklets

Control the symptoms of pancreatic cancer

This booklet covers the different procedures used to control pancreatic cancer symptoms with practical information about your hospital visit and returning home. Includes a section about second opinions, clinical trials and questions to ask your doctor and a glossary to explain some of the terms used.

At some stage, many pancreatic cancer patients find that their tumour begins to compress or restrict the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine, immediately after the stomach).

This often occurs gradually and begins to cause discomfort after eating and nausea. Fluids may be easier to take then solids. The stomach gradually stretches so that you feel like vomiting slightly less and weight loss occurs as food cannot reach the small intestine for nutrients to be absorbed.

Diagram of the location of a Gastro-jejunostomy

Gastro-jejunostomy bypasses the duodenum so the effects of the tumour no longer affect your digestion. You will have a general anaesthetic and your surgeon may use key hole surgery (laparoscopy) or make a small cut in your tummy called a mini-laparotomy. The duodenum will be passed by connecting another section of the small intestine (jejunum) directly to the stomach.

How I will feel afterwards?

You will be taken back to the ward or to a high dependency unit and will normally be discharged home after around 48 hours. Recovery is usually fairly quick, and you should be able to start drinking fluids on the same day and slowly introducing foods so that you are eating and drinking normally again when you go home.

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Information Product № PCA0013v1 Published 15/10/2019
Last Updated 21/04/2022 Next Review Due 21/04/2025