Mayo Clinic's approach

Mayo Clinic pancreatic cancer specialists

Mayo Clinic gastroenterologists, cancer specialists and surgeons collaborate in the care of people with pancreatic cancer.

  • Multidisciplinary team. Mayo Clinic doctors with extensive training in several specialties collaborate to provide coordinated, comprehensive care. Specialized cancer surgeons (surgical oncologists), gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and other experts provide comprehensive, individualized care for people considering or being recommended to undergo the Whipple procedure.
  • Individualized approach. At Mayo Clinic, your team develops a treatment plan suited to your exact situation. In each case, the goals are to improve recovery, quality of life and cancer outcomes. Your care is coordinated by one physician, often a surgical oncologist, which ensures continuity from diagnosis through surgery. The surgical, anesthesia and nursing teams at Mayo Clinic are dedicated to making your surgery and hospital stay as pleasant and comfortable as possible.
  • Surgical expertise. Mayo Clinic surgeons are experts in the Whipple procedure, every variation of it and other pancreatic operations. Each year Mayo Clinic surgeons perform over 450 such surgeries. Each surgeon has specialized and extensive training and experience with Whipple procedures and other pancreatic operations. Studies show that choosing an experienced surgeon reduces your risk of complications.

    In many cases, surgeons at Mayo Clinic can now perform these pancreatic operations using either laparoscopic or robotic techniques that have been shown to allow for a faster recovery in select patients.

  • Innovative treatments. Mayo Clinic experts pioneered a treatment approach for people with borderline, locally advanced (advanced stage III) pancreatic cancer. It has been shown to help people who were previously told that surgery isn't an option. People eligible for this protocol undergo chemotherapy with new highly effective drugs, followed by radiation and complex surgeries previously never thought possible.

    This tailored approach has increased the number of people who may safely benefit from surgery. Data on the first 100-plus people who underwent this treatment approach at Mayo Clinic show that they are living significantly longer than people who previously did not have this option available.

Mayo Clinic surgeon Mark J. Truty, M.D., M.S., discusses pancreatic cancer care at Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic surgeon explaining a Whipple operation to a patient.

A Mayo Clinic surgical oncologist explains the Whipple procedure using a model created on a 3-D printer from CT scans.

Comprehensive cancer center

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Innovation and research

Mayo Clinic researchers conduct studies and clinical trials to improve Whipple procedures and other approaches to pancreatic cancer. Mayo Clinic is a leader in the minimally invasive (laparoscopic) approach to the Whipple procedure and is one of the few medical centers offering it.

The frequent collaboration between Mayo's researchers, oncologists, surgeons, pathologists and others generates a full spectrum of research projects. For example, they study the benefits of combining PET and MRI radiologic imaging techniques to help surgeons predict which patients are responding to chemotherapy and therefore might significantly benefit from surgery.

Using large national data sets, investigators are learning about how best to sequence therapy for people with cancer in order to get the best long-term survival. They are also working on decreasing complications in older adults undergoing Whipple procedures and determining how to treat rare pancreatic tumors.

At Mayo Clinic, you may have access to clinical trials, research and new approaches to treatment.

Nationally recognized expertise

The Whipple procedure is a complex operation that requires highly skilled and extensively trained surgeons with specific expertise and understanding of the cancers and diseases that affect the pancreas. Mayo Clinic surgeons are specially trained to provide you with the best care, and they perform over 450 Whipple procedures and related surgeries each year.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

June 03, 2020
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